Brownie Squares

During the 2005-2006 NHL season, one of the boards at the Staples Center had a new advertisement. The ad featured the latest desert concoction from Domino’s Pizza:

And with that ad, a new nickname for Kings 2nd Year player Dustin Brown was born. It never caught on with my fellow Half Season Ticket Holder, but to me, it’s way more interesting than calling him “Brownie” or “Dusty.” And now, Brownie Squares is the new Captain.

Your Los Angeles Kings Captain at age 18. Only 5 years ago.

When Dustin Brown was drafted by the Kings 13th overall in 2003, I didn’t pretend to know anything about him. But when I saw that his hometown was Ithaca, NY and he played for the Little Red of Ithaca High School… well that was all I needed to know. I went to Ithaca College and now Dustin Brown was easily my favorite Kings prospect.

Brown didn’t do anything his rookie year to get me excited about his play. He spent most of it on the IR with the dreaded “high ankle sprain.” But after a breakout season with the Monarchs during the lockout, it was clear that Brown had great potential, if only as an open ice hitter. NHL power forwards don’t develop over night. They need time to figure out how to balance delivering a crushing hit and dekeing around a defenseman. During the 06-07 season, Brown tried out his “kicking the puck to himself and blowing by the D move” countless times, and his rate of success was extremely minor.

Then last season happened. And now Brown was able to pull that move off consistently. And he seemed to thrive on finding that big open ice hit. And he finally got his lisp under control, so he was much more comfortable talking with the press. Oh, and he played a full season with Anze Kopitar and Patrick O’Sullivan, that probably had a lot to do with it as well.

So now Brown is the Captain. Continuing a long, rich tradition with such luminaries as Blake, Luc, Gretzky, Taylor and Terry Ruskowski. Terry Ruskowski? There really should have been no other choice but Brownie Squares. Anze will be the next NHL superstar, but Brown is the elder statesman of the Kings. Yikes! That is one young fucking team.

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones. You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.