LA Kings Dustin Brown on off-ice value of Mike Richards

A few weeks after the blockbuster trade that brought Flyers captain Mike Richards to the Kings, coach Terry Murray made one thing perfectly clear – Dustin Brown is his captain.

Then, when Richards was introduced to the media soon thereafter, he let it be known – he didn’t have any grandiose plans about taking on a letter in LA.

Still, one of the many questions Murray and GM Dean Lombardi were asked at the team’s Hockey Fest on Sunday was ‘Is there a change coming to the Kings captaincy?’

Of course, the answer was no.

And the questions aren’t bothering Brown either. When I had a chance to talk with him later in the afternoon, he explained how Richards can help…

“I’ve known Richie since we were about 15 years old and we played against each other in the OHL. I think we kind of have that mutual respect for each other. Not to make a snap judgement on what he’s done in Philly, but I think he’s had to deal with a lot more – b.s., I guess – than I have as a captain. So, he’s kind of been through that, having to dealing with stuff that isn’t really hockey related. Thankfully, we don’t have a lot of those issues here.”

However, along with the changes to the roster this summer, expectations have risen. Thus, the pressure may be increasing as well. Again, Brown isn’t too concerned – thinking he’ll adjust through the growing pains, partly by draw upon Richards’ experience.

“You’re always learning as a leader. I could be having this conversation with you in 10 years and I’d still be learning. Having a guy like him come in really helps with – just the whole feel of the room. We have a lot of good leaders in there, including guys who have been captain, like Ethan Moreau. He’s another good one. He’s really good for the morale of the room and I think Richie brings a lot of that and more.”

GM Dean Lombardi made some bold moves this summer to improve his club. At least based upon what the players were saying Sunday, he should be applauded for bringing in exactly what many think the Kings needed.

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