Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dustin Brown Autographed Card

Los Angeles Kings' captain Dustin Brown celebrated his 30th birthday in grand fashion two nights ago when his second goal of the season was the game winner for his team's first road victory of the year, as the Kings overpowered the Dallas Stars, prompting their head coach Lindy Ruff to publicly call out his players for playing ''pond hockey''.

Brown looks shorter and lighter than his 6'0'' frame and 215 pounds on the ice, because he plays a bit crouched forward and plows through and gets very physical with players much bigger than he is. But when I ran into him about a year ago as the Kings came to blank my hometown Montréal Canadiens, he was almost my height and looked like an adult who could handle himself. He signed this card in thin black sharpie:

It's from Upper Deck's 2006-07 Series 1 set (card #93 in the collection) and shows Brown wearing the Kings' then-white (home) uniform, with purple on the shoulders; I also have a card of his with that era's away (black) uniform that I featured in 2010.

The first American Kings captain, two-time Stanley Cup champion, silver-medal Olympian and All-Star won the Mark Messier Leadership Award last year; past winners include Sidney Crosby, but also players who were thought to never be leaving their teams (Jarome Iginla with the Calgary Flames, Daniel Alfredsson with the Ottawa Senators, Mats Sundin with the Toronto Maple Leafs) who ended up doing just that.

The half-season in 2012-13 (due to the lock-out) saw him score 18 goals in 46 games, coming just short of a sixth-straight 20-goal season; he only scored 15 in 79 games last year, but being on a deeper team means he's getting close to 3 minutes less ice time per game than he used to. I'm sure he prefers Cups to goals, though.

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