Monday, August 31, 2009

Dustin Brown Interview - 2009 Hockey Fest

Last weekend a bronzed Dustin Brown dropped by Hockey Fest '09 with an extra five pounds of summer muscle and a closely cropped dyed-blond coif. We spoke with the Kings captain about the Los Angeles locker room, his hockey influences, and surfing. These are his stories.

Q: Who are the vocal leaders in the Kings room?
A: Greene’s pretty vocal. O'Donnell says some stuff every once in a while. It’s kind of a communal effort between myself, O'Donnell, and Greene. I kind of stay on the more serious side of things. When something needs to be said I’ll say it. Greene’s more of the rah-rah guy. We have a bunch of guys. Kopitar’s kind of a mix between a rah-rah guy and a quiet guy. We’ve been together for a while so everyone’s comfortable stepping up and saying what needs to be said.

Q: Who are the class clowns on the Kings?
A: I’d say Doughty. He’s one for sure. Greene for sure. Those are the two I can think of right now.

Q: What's coach Terry Murray’s demeanor in the room?
A: He's more of a quiet serious guy. That was a welcome change. Andy Murray would yell a lot. That can be intimidating for a young guy coming in. With all the young guys we had Terry was a really good fit. For them to come in and know they could make mistakes and get corrected on it but not get benched or screamed at is a huge help for them as a player. For guys like me he’ll come and talk to me after. Or he’ll make an example of me, because I was one of the veterans or leaders, and then come to me after and say I just needed to make a point. He’s really good about communicating with the players.

Q: Does GM Dean Lombardi come down to the room very often?
A: Not really. I think he calls a lot of people up to his office and has a meeting with them individually. My relationship with him has changed quite a bit. From a leadership role he wants me to have the pulse of the team and he asks me a lot of questions. I’ve been with him for quite a while now so we’ve gotten to know each other personally which makes it a lot easier. I remember the first time he called me in. You know, the GM, you don’t want to talk to him. Now if something needs to be fixed or corrected it’s a pretty open dialogue between me and him.

Q: Who are your hockey influences?
A: Gretzky and Forsberg. Forsberg plays more of my type of game than Gretzky does. Obviously my parents. And there’s one youth hockey coach, Tom Veneteran, who kind of guided me with my hockey from a young age which was a huge help.

Q: Are there any current players you model your game after?
A: Not really. I try to take bits and pieces from numerous players and kind of make it my own game. It’s hard, you don’t see a lot of guys in the East. Every once in while you’ll go over there and be surprised by certain players. I just sort of cut and paste different things from each player.

Q: Tell me about Chelios’ role at the US national team training camp.
A: He was kind of behind the scenes. Obviously everyone knows who he is and what he’s done for US hockey. You look back at the 1996 World Cup, he was a huge part of that. He’s been a big part of US hockey and a big players advocate, making sure things are done right for the players and by the players. For US hockey I think there’s a youth movement going on and it’s nice to have a guy that's been through all this and is a big part of US hockey. He connects us to the past. We have a pretty good program but we’ve only won two Olympic medals and the last one was 30 years ago.

Q: Do you surf?
A: Occasionally.

Q: Who do you paddle out with?
A: Well right now I have one of the prospects Corey Elkins living with me. We went to the beach yesterday and got thrashed pretty good.

Q: Where did you go?
A: We were in Hermosa.

Q: What type of board do you ride?
A: Kind of a hybrid. I don’t know. It’s not a longboard or a shortboard. I’m not great with the surf lingo.

Many thanks to Dustin for speaking with us. Best of luck this season.

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