The Los Angeles Kings have announced their new captain after stripping Dustin Brown of his captaincy last month. Brown’s replacement, as announced by GM Dean Lombardi, will be none other than Anze Kopitar.
“It’s Anze’s time for it,” Lombardi said of the change. “He’s been bred for it, he’s been trained for it and he’s one of our best players.”
Kopitar has been learning alongside Brown for several years. He was most recently an alternate captain with the Kings, so he was a logical choice to take on a larger role. Additionally, Kopitar will be able to provide leadership by example out on the ice. He has been the Kings leading scorer in every season since 2007-08.
Dustin Brown, on the other hand, lost his role while continuing to struggle with the Kings. After registering five straight campaigns scoring 20+ goals, Brown has seen his output decline over the past few season. He has failed to pick up more than 30 points in each of the past four seasons, and he has only scored 11 goals each of the past two. The Kings are hoping this will relieve some pressure from Brown, and help to get him back on track.
“For us to be successful, he needs to get his game back to what he is capable of,” Lombardi said. “Not long ago, he was one of the best power forwards in the league. And it’s not the effort – he puts enormous pressure on himself. ”
Lombardi also indicated that Brown would not be bought out this summer. Instead, he remains hopeful that Brown can turn his game around and return to his old form.