Spector Says Brown Won’t Be Traded For All the Obvious Reasons

Dustin Brown to Atlanta as part of a deal for Kovalchuk?  Ain’t happenin’. Brown’s their captain, part of the corps of young talent around which management has rebuilt the Kings, he’s among their leading scorers and one of their best physical players, plus they’ve got him signed to an affordable $3.175 million per season for the next four years. The Kings won’t move him.

via Spector’s Hockey – The Soapbox.

Spector is possibly the most sane and reliable hockey writer out there. I respect him and look forward to everything he has to say on every hockey topic. He is a compass that points me out of the woods of many a crackpot idea. However, I have to say that every point he makes in favor of Lombardi keeping Brown is just as persuasive as an argument for moving him. As I have said a few times lately, he has a very high trade value, especially now with being named an alt-c on Team USA, and his affordable contract (especially-especially in my mind) is cat-nip to GMs.

I’m not advocating trading Brown. I would prefer that he start playing like the 30-goal-scoring 1st/2nd line RW he is supposed to be, as opposed to the excellent but over-paid 3rd line “energy” guy working on his second season of underperformance. Also, I happen to think he’s not a good captain.

And he’s not a Lombardi pick. I know some people think I’m making too much of this last point. And I might well end up disagreeing with myself. But I just don’t think Lombardi is all that married to keeping Dustin Brown around for the next five years if he’s not going to play like the top-six forward he is paid to be.

Also, if I look at the list of prospects getting ready to make the jump next fall (and yes I understand you can’t promote them all at once and they all won’t pan out, etc.), you’ve got Schenn, Clifford, Moller, Clune and Loktionov, and if I were to bet, I would say three of those guys will make the opening night roster. Add that to Kopitar, Smyth, Stoll, Brown, Handzus, Williams, Simmonds, Richardson, Parse, Frolov…that’s 14 names with no enforcer mentioned (maybe we finally lose Ivanans?).

Smyth/Kopitar/Williams

Frolov/Stoll/Brown

Parse/Handzus/Simmonds

Clifford/Schenn/Moller

Richardson? Loktionov? Segal? Clune?

My reasoning is, I think the third line (Handzus) is possibly the best third line in the league (of course, I’m a homer). Let’s just say it’s very solid and reliable and can score. A fourth line of Clifford/Schenn/Segal-Clune comes pretty close to the Lombardi/Murray ass-kicking ideal, and would still score some goals. Therefore, goodbye Raitis. The first two lines — with most of the expensive players, you’ve got six guys with Moller and Loktionov waiting in the wings.

Stoll, with his superior shot and his face-off ability, is arguably more valuable than Brown. And of course Lombardi specifically sought him out, using one of Taylor’s picks (whom Lombardi had just signed to a big deal) to get him. So the idea that he would use another one of Taylor’s picks whom he just signed to a big deal to snag another crucial piece of the puzzle is by no means unthinkable.

I’m not saying it will happen. I’m saying it’s possible and it fits with the pattern more than people seem to think. Lombardi also dealt Norstrom and low-balled Blake out of town. So much for the sacredness of the captain’s “C.”

(p.s. I love the Norstrom trade, having gotten us Moller, Wudrick and a piece of Teubert. And Blake, I would just as soon he never came back after 2001.)

Plus, really, consider this line-up:

Kovalchuk/Kopitar/Williams

Smyth/Stoll/Loktionov-Moller

Parse/Handzus/Simmonds

Clifford/Schenn/Segal-Clune

Loktionov, Moller, Segal and Clune can all come and go from Manchester with impunity. If Lombardi moves Frolov and Brown for Kovalchuk, that’s a win-win. Atlanta will get enough fire-power to satisfy their fans. The Kings will fill a major need and will replace Brown’s hitting with Clifford and Schenn. And I think you can make a pretty solid argument that Clifford and Schenn were drafted to do exactly what Brown does, only more so. And they’re Lombardi’s picks.

Call me crazy. But I don’t see it as internet “crack-pottery” at all.

 
  • Sam

    I take umbrage to two things here. Firstly, as much as I respect you as a hockey mind you have simply no idea how good or not good Brown is as a Captain. Secondly, Blake is a clown who doesn’t deserve near 4 million a year let alone 6. He’s greedy, he’s always been greedy, and Lombardi didn’t low-ball him out of town.

    I am on board with trading Brown if it lands up Kovi but only if that’s our only option. You have to give to get, afterall. But Kovi better have some decent character or he’ll screw up the chemistry big time.

    • quisp

      Re Blake:

      I agree totally. I didn’t mean low-ball in the sense of giving him less than he deserved. I meant low-ball in the sense of offering him something (a little less money and a reduced role) that he probably know he wouldn’t accept, and didn’t. I personally thought Blake was a bad influence and poison. He appears to me to have the attitude that he deserves to be on a winner because he is a winner; he was embarrassed by being a King in 2000-2001, and it was the same in 2007. Plus, I didn’t like his ass-checks. Especially when I noticed they frequently lead to the other team scoring.

      Re Brown as captain:

      If I didn’t say it here I said it somewhere else, that I have no idea what Brown is like in the room or how much of the team “heart and soul” is due to him. But what I do know is that he seems to disappear frequently when needed most, seems not to step up when teammates (e.g. Kopitar, Doughty, Armstrong last year) are run, and frankly doesn’t inspire confidence whenever I hear him speak. This last point I can live without, since athletes set the bar pretty low for public speaking. But I can’t say I see a team inspired by Brown’s example, other than the fact that he encouraged people to come in and train over the summer. To be a leader, it’s not enough to be talented (Gretzky), or want to lead, or to be a really nice guy (all describe Brown). People have to want to follow you and they have to believe in you. Do they? I don’t have a clue. But I don’t have any evidence that they do.

      • Sam

        You are a smart, smart hockey fan. You are totally right.

  • http://lakingsnews.com Surly Jacob

    Quisp rules.