The Los Angeles Kings announced a long-term extension with captain Dustin Brown Thursday, completing one of the great about-faces in their franchise's storied history.
At the 2011-12 trade deadline, Brown was on the trading block. It looked like the Kings were set for a divorce. Then they changed their minds, and in response, Brown put his head down, girded his loins, and led the team all the way to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
A summer later, the Kings have decided they want Brown for just shy of forever, signing him for eight years at a cap hit of $5.875 million a season.
Though reported at 5.75M per, league source pegs Dustin Brown extension 8 year extension 5.875M cap hit and front loaded.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) July 18, 2013
Not bad for a deal Brown negotiated himself, according to his agent, Scott Norton.
Here's Dean Lombardi, keeping it summer casual in a grey zip-up, explaining what the signing means for the Kings:
With Brown's extension, the Kings now have Brown, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov, and Jonathan Quick locked up through 2016, and all but Kopitar signed through 2019. That's two-thirds of two top-two lines, one half of two top-four defensive pairings, and a goaltender.
In other words: a core. This Kings team will likely look pretty similar for awhile, and since that core won the club a Stanley Cup a year ago, it's a reasonable core to invest in.
That part of this deal is good. The trade-off is that, when his deal expires in 2021-22, Brown will be 36 years old. One wonders if he can sustain production that justifies nearly $6 million a season for eight years, especially when he's only got one 60-point season under his belt, and it came all the way back in 2007-08.
As it stands, Brown is effectively a 50-point guy, and as he rounds the corner into his thirties, the Kings might find themselves paying $5.75 million a season for 40 points or less.
Granted, Brown's contract doesn't appear to come with a no-movement clause, so if they need him to step his game up, they can always threaten to trade him again.