Dustin Brown talks new baby and possible return date

Dustin Brown and wife Nicole added a fourth child to the family earlier this week.  But, there was no rest for the Kings captain, as he was right back on the ice Thursday morning, trying to work himself into game-shape.  Since opening day of training camp two weeks ago, Brown has found himself sidelined with a hamstring injury.  Now, as his teammates prepare for the final pre-season games this weekend in Las Vegas, he’s itching to get going.  So, when will he make his debut?

Here are some raw quotes from Brown following Thursday’s practice…

On his plans for Frozen Fury:

“I’m not going to travel with the team…[so I can] get my wife and daughter home and settled. I’ll probably jump on a plane for Vegas. I’ll see how I feel Saturday and make a call, see how I feel after. Today I felt pretty good.”

On his feelings about having a baby daughter:

“Shocking. My wife thought it was a boy for sure. We didn’t find out, which is the way to go, I think. Most people find out nowadays. It’s no fun that way. I think my wife was really shocked. We were calling it ‘him’ even this morning. She still doesn’t have a name yet. We’ve got to find a name.”

On names he’s leaning towards:

“I think it’s down to Mackenzie or Ella.”

On the hospital bracelet he’s still wearing:

“Yes. The security is pretty tight.”

On the LA Kings tweeting the name being Ella Rose:

“[Laughter] Well, yes. It might change. That’s because my wife Nicole put it on Facebook, and then she’s like, ‘I don’t know,’ after she did it. The Kings will have to put out the typical, ‘Sorry, my account’s been hacked.’ [More laughter]”

* update: it did change to Mackenzie late this afternoon *



On how his wife is feeling:

“She’s doing well. Both are doing well.”

On the baby’s size:

“She was seven pounds, eleven ounces. [Reporter: How does that compare to the boys?] She was bigger than all of them. Mason doesn’t count because he was nine weeks early—but the other two were induced a little bit earlier. So she got a little more time to grow.”

On if this is the last baby:

“Oh yes. This is it. This is it. You can put this on the record. I’m done. I’m done, at least.”

On whether the cigar tradition is still done:

“I don’t know if we have enough guys that smoke cigars in here. I don’t. So, I don’t know. I’m sure I’ll put money on the board first, the first regular season game.”

On whether he’s broken the news to Drew Doughty that the baby will not be named ‘Drew’:

“He mentioned that Drew would be a great girl name this morning. [Reporter: I told you he was lobbying all last year.] The two names my son came up with were Black Mama and Roger, so…Roger and Black Mama. [Reporter: Any idea where those came from?] Five-year-old’s imagination, I guess. We liked Charlotte, but then it would be Charlotte Brown, so we couldn’t do that. My wife and I both like Charlotte… but, Charlie Brown? No.”

On if he’s mentally ready for the season:

“It’s always exciting this time of year for players. I missed out on the first part of camp. This is when it gets more exciting, especially for a [more experienced] team like we have. You get down to the last couple pre-season games, they feel more like regular season. You’re playing full NHL line-ups most nights. When you have a team with the personnel, the internal expectation that we have in here…it’s always exciting this time of year. It was exciting five, six years ago this time of year when we weren’t contenders for a cup every year. That changes things when you’re capable of playing deep into the year. As a group of guys, you just want to get started.”

On what he expects to hear about the compacted schedule in the first half of this 82 game season:

“You’ll probably hear a lot about it from teams that aren’t playing well. Every team has to deal with it, so it’s who manages it best. West and East is probably the biggest difference, but you’re also not fighting for play-off spots against those teams. The majority of the teams have a pretty comparable schedule in the Western Conference. Again, it’s about how you manage it.”

On realignment and/or the balanced schedule:

“As a player, I like it from the standpoint of we get to play some other teams. Quite honestly, playing the Ducks in game 66 for the sixth time in five weeks…we play them so much as it is. To be able to play in every building is pretty cool for a player. There are some buildings…this will be my tenth year and I’ve only played in some buildings once. Pittsburgh, I’ve only played in there once. [Madison Square Garden], I’ve only played once or twice. That’s 600, 700 games and I’ve only played in some of these buildings twice. As a player, it comes down to playing the Ducks and the Coyotes. They’re always intense games, but sometimes it’s nice not to know every single person on the other team. You get to see other players around the league.”

On how weird it was to see Dustin Penner in a different jersey:

“I didn’t play in either game, so I’m sure it’s a little different. I’m sure it’s got to be…to some degree it’s like playing in the Olympics or World Championships, when you see a teammate that you play with…that’s probably even a little more weird, because you’re still teammates with a guy. [Reporter: So you’ll have a little extra for Doughty this time around?] He obviously got the better of me last time, but I did beat him twice one-on-one, so I can just keep on telling everyone that.”

On what the group is looking to do this coming season:

“I think getting knocked out…I said this last year. You don’t understand what you’ve really lost until you’ve done it. Winning in 2012 and getting knocked out in 2013 was much worse than getting knocked out previously. As a group of guys, we’re well aware of what we’re capable of doing, for one, and two, a lot of guys remember that plane ride home from Chicago and it’s a pretty motivating feeling.”

On what that plane ride was like:

“A lot of guys talk, generally not about hockey quite honestly, because you’re right in the mix of playoffs and it’s hockey, hockey, hockey all the time and focusing. It’s a bit of a decompression. You’re not celebrating by any means. It’s more or less talking about other things than hockey.”

On how confident he is he’ll play in the regular season opener next week:

“If you ask me? A hundred percent, barring no setbacks. If you ask me today, will I be playing in Minnesota, I’ll say yes. If things keep progressing they way they’re going.”

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