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NHL Rumors: Switch in Captaincy Will Prompt Kings to Trade Dustin Brown

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 11:  Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings in action against the New York Islanders on February 11, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterFebruary 29, 2012

The NHL trade deadline may be in the rear view mirror, but the Los Angeles Kings' roster shakeup is far from over.

According to Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports, the Kings are considering handing the captaincy to Mike Richards in the offseason, just a year after acquiring him in a massive draft-day trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.

That's all well and good, except for the fact that the "C" currently belongs to Dustin Brown, the 27-year-old winger who's spent his entire professional hockey career in LA. He's played quite well for the Kings of late, racking up seven points in his last three games and nine points in his last five.

This, amidst rampant speculation that Kings GM Dean Lombardi had dangled Dustin on the market to a few choice teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins. Lombardi recanted on his alleged stance once word got out.

There's little doubt that the rumors about Brown's availability rankled him, and the supposed notion of him ceding the captaincy isn't likely to go over any better. That toxic combination may be enough for LA to justify moving Brown over the summer if the team feels so inclined. As Lombardi's deadline dangling showed, the market for Brown is a vast and potentially lucrative one in which the Kings, with all of their needs, wouldn't exactly be unwise to dabble.

For now, though, the threats coming at Brown may turn out for the better. They've clearly lit a fire under him, just when the Kings need his deft scoring touch to stay on track for the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

And, of course, the better Brown plays, the more he'll mean to the Kings, whether it be as a captain or as a trade chip.

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