Dustin Brown with pre-training camp thoughts and expectations

After what he described as a ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ like experience to get back from Switzerland, Kings captain Dustin Brown returned to LA a few days ago and can’t wait for training camp to open this morning.

“It helped me, both mentally and physically,” Brown said of his experience playing overseas during the lockout. “I mean mentally, you saw the skates here. After a while it just gets a little stale. To play in some real games, I think I played 15-16 games, so, I definitely feel better than if I had stayed.”

While there, he was playing for former Kings bench boss Marc Crawford. How was it playing for Crawford this time around, as a Stanley Cup Champion, compared to the earlier part of his career?

“It was a different scenario I think for both of us,” Brown explained. “Plus, over there the mentality and the day-to-day – the day-to-day is probably similar, but just the mentality, the type of pressure. There’s a lot more pressure to perform here maybe, it’s just a little bit more laid back there…They have 12 teams and the buildings aren’t nearly as big. (Still), there’s plenty of players over there that probably could play here if they wanted. But, being a Swiss native, you can make pretty good money staying there. It was a good experience overall though.”

As camp opens here in LA today, it’s the same team that were all together in June winning a Stanley Cup. That familiarity should help the Kings get out of the blocks a little quicker that last year.

“In a shortened season we have to be pretty good to start,” Brown exclaimed. “I think being able to come in and not have to worry about trying to implement new players, or changing anything. Guys know, especially after a few days of practice everyone will get reacquainted with our system or forecheck and we can maybe go a little bit quicker because we don’t have that transition period. Last year, we had big change in our line-up and it took a little while for everyone to get used to.”

For the rest of us, about the only thing that may take a few days to adjust to is the fact that hockey is back. Finally!

MayorsManor will have live notes, quotes and photos from camp starting today and running all week.  Be sure to follow along on twitter for all the latest Kings info.

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.