By Ryan Whitehead
While the four finalists battle it out for the Stanley Cup, many Kings fans are raising questions of what’ll happen to the man who has hoisted the cup first in 2012 and 2014. That man is long-time captain Dustin Brown, who has seemed to be in downward spiral in the last few seasons.
While the 37-year old winger is still signed on for the Kings up until 2022 and averaging almost $6 million a season. Will letting go Brown affect the Kings salary cap going forward? GM Dean Lombardi has stated that he expects more out of him, as he does for all of his players.
Brown, who once was averaging 30 goals a season and was considered a hard-hitting productive leader on the Kings squad, is now just averaging 25-30 points while playing on the third line. His shooting percentage has also dropped significantly from 7.8 in the 2013-14 season to 5.0 this past season.
As far as trading Brown, the Kings will need to be willing to use some cap space. Even though trading him will come at a price, it might do the Kings a favor. If Brown is traded, most likely a few draft picks will be in the mix as well. Keeping Brown will leave the Kings to deal with his contract, however the contract could be moved later down the road.
The bottom line is that Lombardi needs to look down the long road and have faith in player that has dedicated his whole career in LA so far, and trust that Brown can find his stride once again. Brown has proven this season that he can be still productive with his playmaking and hitting when it’s necessary.
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