In My Own Words - Dustin Brown (part one)
Fans can relive the greatest season in Los Angeles Kings history with The Official Story of the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. The commemorative book contains key details and images from the run, a foreword by Luc Robitaille, an introduction from Bob Miller and an afterward from Dustin Brown. Also included is an exclusive DVD with Bob Miller and Jim Fox announcing the Cup-clinching Game 6.
In recent weeks LAKings.com has been offering up various chapters in the book on-line. Brown -- who had one goal and two assists in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final – also contributed a great deal to the book and here now are parts of those stories (some of which did not make the final edition of the book).
We hope you enjoy this read on LAKings.com as Brown, in his own words, shares his story about his start in Los Angeles as young King and growing up to become the team’s Captain, to the Kings culture change and hot hand in the 2012 Playoffs in the first of a special four-part series.
When I think about being the first King to lift the Stanley Cup in team history, for me it really starts back in Nashville on June 21, 2003, when I was selected 13th overall by the Kings. It starts there for me because it was the beginning of a long hard journey to where we are today, now standing as Stanley Cup Champions.
I remember going through draft day, and as a kid going through the draft you don’t really care who drafts you, you are just excited about the opportunity ahead of you. The Kings drafted me, and I didn’t really know what to expect with it not being a typical hockey market. I was blown away with the reception that this team has received over the last 10 years since I have been here however. Luckily I have had the opportunity to stay with the organization and really grow up with the organization, not only as a player but also as a human being.
I was fortunate to play that very next season in 2003-04 and you look at that roster and I am the only remaining King, not just on that team but in the system from that time which shows you how much change this team has gone through and all the hard work that has taken place both on the players side and the management side. That’s where it all started for me and lifting that Cup on June 11.
There was a lockout the next season, and then Dean Lombardi came in and there was a complete regime change. That’s when things really started to change from a culture standpoint. We turned over a lot of players and then began to define our core starting with me and Kopi, and then began adding pieces along the way which was key. You could sense the team was starting to build toward making the next step, which was making the playoffs.
When you look at the history of this team, two of their biggest moments were first round upsets. Obviously the Cup Final in ‘93, but for an organization that has been around for 45 years to have its greatest moment be losing in the Final really shows you the frustrated history of the Kings organization.
We really started to change the way we did things, and made sure to stay focused and hang on to those core players, and that is really what has made the difference. The trade for Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll was really crucial because they were able to immediately plug right into the core group and that was really the start of getting to the next level, the first step in the journey for this group of guys to come together.
I think that's a big part of the bond that a lot of the guys share -- just that closeness and having to learn how to win. It took a lot of years of learning how to lose, and losing together, especially as a core group. We had a group of guys who lost year in and year out together and it's invaluable. You're never going to understand how to win unless you've been on the other side of it and know how it feels to be down in the dumps and to be on the losing side every game or a majority of games every year. For us to kind of go through that together I think brought us closer together and made it a lot more sweeter winning the Stanley Cup together with the guys that had to go through all the muck and get the job done.
Being named captain in 2008 was a huge honor for me personally, and it’s something I took a lot of pride in. I was fortunate enough to be in a unique situation when I was named Captain as Kopi Anze Kopitar and Greener Matt Greene were also named Assistants or Alternates, and that was the first time they had won at the NHL level, so it wasn't just me learning the ropes by myself. We had two other guys to go through it and bounce ideas off of, and we kind of really grew together as Captains.
I remember getting called in by [then Head Coach] Terry Murray with Matt Greene and Kopi, and he was going to name me Captain and them Alternates. I know all three of us were pretty elated about the opportunity, but also at that time you don't really understand the responsibility of what that entails. You think you have an idea of what it entails, but this is where I think I really learned a lot from Rob Blake the previous couple of years. I didn't know it at the time, but just watching him and how Blakey handled himself was a big help for me.
The real exciting thing for me — considering this team’s history — when you're named Captain, one of the first things I thought about from a personal standpoint is, ‘If we find a way to get the job done, I'll have been the first King in team history to hoist that Cup,’ and that's just a really special moment for me that is really hard to describe. To not only be the first because as a Captain you get to be first team member to hoist it up, but again, with the history of this team, and we're talking 45 years with players like Marcel Dionne, Wayne Gretzky, Bernie Nicholls, Luc Robitaille, Dave Taylor — I mean there are a ton of players that had the opportunity to be part of that special group that does it for the first time. So when we were named Captains, the opportunity was laid in front of all of us to do something special as a group in the city of Los Angeles, and like I said, for me personally having the opportunity to be the first King to hoist the Cup was a pretty motivating factor for myself.
It's one of those things…the Stanley Cup is a very special trophy. If you win it as part of a team — the first team in an organization — there's something about being the start of the history, especially here in Los Angeles.
THE BOOK -- MORE
The Collector’s Edition is $60 and includes the following: The book and DVD of Game 6 (versus New Jersey) with Miller and Fox’s call.
The Special Limited Edition is $450 and includes the following:
The book, DVD of Game 6, piece of authentic board glass from Game 6, leather binding and a presenting container. Only 450 of this edition have been printed.
LA Kings Full Season Ticket Members save $10 off the book.
To obtain a copy, shop TEAM LA Store at STAPLES Center or call 877-257-4916. Available only while supplies last.
More info: http://kings.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=82869&navid=DL|LAK|home
Visit LAKings.com/news now to read a similar piece from the book itself by Justin Williams, Colin Fraser, Mike Richards, Willie Mitchell and Drew Doughty. Also check back soon to LAKings.com/news to read three more accounts by Brown.