Los Angeles Kings: 4 Reasons Dustin Brown's Job Is Safe

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 26, 2012

Los Angeles Kings: 4 Reasons Dustin Brown's Job Is Safe

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    Many Los Angeles Kings fans were worried last season when captain Dustin Brown became involved in trade rumors. As one of the team's most exciting players, he's become a fan favorite in Los Angeles.

    We may never know if Brown was really on the "trading block," but according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, quite a few teams reportedly had interest in Brown in February.

    BOS, BUF, EDM, NJD, NYR, PHI, TOR, VAN are amongst teams with high levels of interest in Brown. #TradeCentre #TSN

    — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 24, 2012

    Fortunately for the Kings, Brown was not traded, and just a few months later, he became the first player in franchise history to lift the Stanley Cup.

    Following the team's championship run last year, Brown's job with the Kings should be safe. Let's examine why.

Playoff Performance

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    Brown was an instrumental part of the team's championship run because of his stellar on-ice performances and leadership.

    Having a captain with Stanley Cup-winning experience is a very valuable part of any NHL team and these kinds of players should be acquired rather than traded away.

    In 32 career playoff games, Brown has 27 points (10 goals and 17 assists), including 20 points (eight goals and 12 assists) in 20 playoff games last season.

    Brown looked much more comfortable in the postseason last year than he had in previous playoff runs and he was playing with a higher level of confidence.

    Reliable playoff performers are hard to find, so Kings general manager Dean Lombardi must do everything he can to keep Brown in Los Angeles long-term.

Physical Style of Play

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    The toughness and grit that Brown brings to the ice each game is an important part of the physical style the Kings employed on their way to the Stanley Cup.

    He's not afraid to block shots, deliver big hits and dedicate the time and effort needed to make a strong impact defensively.

    When your captain is working hard on defense and doing the little things needed to win games, the rest of the team feeds off of that.

    Brown is one of the Kings' best two-way players and his absence would create a hole in the lineup that would be difficult to fill.

Brown Doesn't Have a Huge Contract

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    Dustin Brown does not have huge contract and has two years (2012-13 season included) left on his current deal.

    The salary cap hit in his contract is only $3.175 million and his base salary is only $3.5 million in the final two years.

    When the deal expires after the 2013-14 season, the Kings shouldn't have to break the bank to re-sign their captain to a new long-term contract.

    The Kings already have a number of huge long-term contracts with salary cap hits over $5 million to players such as Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Adding another huge long-term deal to the team's payroll wouldn't be a wise financial decision.

    Re-signing an important player like Brown and not having to commit lots of money and years to keep him would be a huge boost to the team's chances of long-term success.

    Players of Brown's caliber who won't be expensive to re-sign should be kept at all costs. It's hard to see him demanding a ton of money to re-sign in the next few years.

Not Enough Depth on the Wings

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    The Kings don't have the same depth on the wings that they do at the center position. Brown is the team's best winger and is still in the prime of his career.

    Los Angeles isn't in a position to lose any depth at either left wing or right wing unless adequate replacements were quickly added to the team.

    Brown is the only Kings winger who has scored over 50 points in four straight seasons and his consistent offensive production on the wing is a vital part of the team's success. Justin Williams and Brown were the only Kings wingers to score 50 points and 20-plus goals last season.

    Brown is the team's first-line right winger and is a proven 20-plus-goal scorer who can also feature in a playmaking role. 

    He's the best winger on the team and not someone that the Kings should consider trading at any point in the near future.