NHL Trade Rumors: 5 Possible Destinations for Dustin Brown
It shocked a lot of people around LA, Brown included. Dean Lombardi quickly squashed all rumors when he said Brown was NOT available.
Brown has since gone on a tear, scoring 15 points in 11 games. But that still hasn't stopped the rumor mills from churning. Last week Buffalo News NHL columnist Bucky Gleason wrote that Brown would likely be traded before next season.
Whether or not the possibility remains real is in question. But if it were, here are a few possible destinations where Brown could land.
Los Angeles Kings
Let me start this slideshow off with the destination I hope Brown lands at.
The Kings need Brown. His contract is great (three years remaining at $3.17 million a season), he is the team captain and he has been a consistent 50-point player.
Not to mention Brown has put the team on his back at numerous times during this difficult season, and showed incredible desire and character.
I don't put too much stock in NHL trade rumors, and I am not putting much in this. After the February and March Brown has had, he will remain a King.
But hey, let's not ruin the fun. Let's get on with some hypothetical destinations, shall we?
First and foremost, the Buffalo Sabres.
Buffalo has desperately needed consistent goal scoring this season, and more importantly a physically imposing player in the offensive zone. Brown fulfills both of those needs with his love for hitting, scoring and generally making goalies games a nightmare.
The intangibles, of course, are Brown's easygoing nature—which would fit right in in the Buffalo locker room—and the fact that he grew up in Ithaca, NY, about three hours east of Buffalo.
It's believed that Darcy Regier was one of the GMs who was very interested in the Kings captain at the deadline when word came out he might be available.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils are having a good season—an above-expectations season, I would say.
However, New Jersey doesn't have a whole lot of depth at wing in terms of top six players.
David Clarkson is having an unreal season, one that I would be surprised if he could duplicate, and Dainius Zubrus (33), Petr Sykora (35) and Patrik Elias (35) are aging quickly.
Brown, 27, with his very affordable contract, would be a great fit on New Jersey's second line, opening up the ice for a player like rookie Adam Henrique.
Brown is also signed through the 2014-2015 season, which will help out New Jersey with the slew of upcoming free agents this offseason and next.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Can you say Brian Burke-style player?
Brown is a hard-hitting goal-scorer with a workman's attitude. Granted, that's probably a LOT of general managers' desires, but Burke's history has proven this a true mantra.
The Leafs have lacked that desire at times this season, and it has really hurt them. Brown would be a great shot in the arm, and a lead by example style of player they need. Also, their right wing crew is thin, to say the least.
Aside from Phil Kessel, the Leafs have been filling the bottom wings with players like Joey Crabb, Matt Frattin and Mike Brown. Forward depth has been a real issue.
I think there is one thing that Dale Hunter's squad has lacked this season: Heart.
Brown brings it every night. And they could especially use that on a more consistent basis, especially at right wing.
Also, I think Brown would fit nicely under Dale Hunter's system, given that he is a very good two-way forward and someone he could trust to kill penalties but also chip in on the power play and 5-on-5.
With the Capitals pressed up against the cap so much, Brown's contract becomes a huge benefit and one that could easily squeeze under with a few other players coming off the books. It'd be huge bang for their buck, and like the Leafs, Brown would be a player who could lead by example on a team that has looked heartless at times this year.