PLAYER JOURNAL: DUSTIN BROWN
Dustin Brown Journal Entry Two
Sept. 12, 2005
It was really cool to take part in last week's U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The camp offered me a chance to skate with several American-born players who will represent the U.S. at the 2005 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy in February of next year.
It's a great honor to get invited to a camp like this, especially when you consider I was the second youngest player invited to attend. To be considered one of the top 30 or 40 hockey players in the country is a great confidence booster heading into Kings training camp this week.
I was a little nervous at first, so it helped to have Kings defenseman Tim Gleason as a roommate. Kings defenseman Aaron Miller also attended the camp. He helped me feel a little more comfortable with my surroundings.
In a lot of ways, the camp was like my first experience at Kings training camp two years ago. I remember back then being intimidated with the idea of sharing the same ice with Luc Robitaille. I initially felt the same way about sharing the ice with Bill Guerin, Doug Weight and Mike Modano last week, but then I relaxed and just played the game.
We had three on-ice sessions during the camp, and the main focus of all three sessions was learning the systems that Team USA will employ during the Olympic tournament. There wasn't a lot of grinding or physical play involved. Guys were more or less just getting familiar with each other and the coaches. I mostly skated with Jason Blake and Matt Cullen during the on-ice workouts.
We closed the first day with a team cookout. The second day included a lot of Olympic paperwork and an overview of how things will go during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. On the third day, we had a choice of either golf or fishing. I'm not much of an outdoors guy, and my golf game isn't that great, but I chose golf because at least with that I have a cart that can get me around the course.
Making Team USA will be tough for me because along with the 40 players invited to the camp, another 10 or so players will also be considered for the team. Our first half performances in the NHL will go a long way in determining which players make the team, so I'm concentrating on having a strong training camp and getting off to a good start in October.