NHL Trade Rumors: New York Rangers Should Pursue LA Kings' Dustin Brown

Rob Waters@NYRangersZoneCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2012

NHL Trade Rumors: New York Rangers Should Pursue LA Kings' Dustin Brown

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    The Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown is available on the trade market, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

    It appears that the Kings are ready to rock the boat, having just acquired Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets late Thursday night. And McKenzie speculates that the Kings are ready to move Brown, despite his offensive skills, because he is not the right fit as captain.

    A regime change, if you will, which opens the door for Kings' Mike Richards to take the throne as captain on his second NHL team—the Philadelphia Flyers his first.

    The Kings have struggled all season long to consistently score, and they currently stand 10th in the Western Conference at 66 points.

    Trading Brown could open the door for prospects, and a new offensive talent for the Kings.

    And a lot of NHL teams are very interested in acquiring Brown, including the Rangers, per McKenzie.

    Who could blame them? 

    With the flurry of Rick Nash trade rumors over the past few weeks, let's take a look at why the New York Rangers should strongly consider acquiring Brown if Nash remains too pricey for Rangers' GM Glen Sather's taste. 

3. He's a Goal Scorer

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    There's no question the Rangers need another offensive threat on their side after two shutout losses in their last 10 games.

    Any kind of loss for the Rangers at this point is not going to cut it, but a shutout loss is all the more painful.

    Brown could help rejuvenate the Rangers' second offensive line, which lately has been a combination of Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan.

    By moving Hagelin to the third line, and inserting Brown, the Rangers could really see a spike in offensive production.

    Brown has 14 goals and 17 assists this season, but has averaged nearly 60 points a season for the Kings.

    There's another great reason he would make a perfect fit with the Rangers' second offensive line—read on for more.

2. He's a Very Physical Player

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    Dustin Brown is willing to sacrifice his body and check his opponents on the ice—something that is vital to the John Tortorella school of high-tempo ice hockey.

    Tortorella wants consistent effort from his players, and if they don't give it their all, they get benched. 

    Brown has an impressive 215 hits, second in the NHL. And guess who No. 3 is? Ryan Callahan, with 206.

    If you haven't already, please watch the inserted video.

    Now imagine the pairing of Brown and Callahan on the same line—two gritty checkers who have demonstrated offensive prowess.

    If the chemistry clicks between Brown, Richards, and Callahan, the Rangers could really have an impressive spark for the remainder of the season.

1. He's Drastically Cheaper Than Rick Nash

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    Acquiring the Blue Jackets' Rick Nash is a very expensive proposition for the Rangers, but apparently Glen Sather is not bothered by Nash's price tag.

    But Nash will cost the Rangers over $50 million through the 2017-2018 season, while Brown has only two years remaining on his contract at an annual hit of $3.175 million.

    You do the math.

    The Rangers are trying to win the Stanley Cup this year, and are the closest they have been since Mark Messier led his teammates to glory in 1994.

    There are plenty of young, gifted offensive talents in the Rangers' farm system, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money and in this case, making money is reaching the Cup.

    If Brown doesn't pan out for the Rangers, they aren't locked up for another six years and he could easily be traded over the summer or by next year's trade deadline.

    Trying to absorb Nash's asking price implies giving up a lot of future talent. I still think Nash could really make a big impact for the Rangers, but Brown just seems so much more sensible.

    There's no doubt Sather could acquire Brown at a cheaper asking price than Nash. The question is: What will Sather do?

    It's down to the final hours for the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline. And I can't wait to see what the Rangers pull off.