Dustin Brown Available? The Blackhawks Should Buy

According to NHL jedi Bob McKenzie of TSN, the LA Kings are shopping their captain, Dustin Brown.

The Chicago Blackhawks should absolutely, without question, make a play Brown. Here’s why.

We’ll start off the ice, because that matters but doesn’t show up in box scores. Financially, Brown has two years left on his current contract with a $3.175M cap hit. More importantly, Brown is one of the truly great character guys in the NHL, and wears the “C” as well as anyone in the game. He has received the distinguished NHL Foundation Award, and his charitable work is well known around the league.

If Kings GM Dean Lombardi thinks adding Jeff Carter and subtracting Brown is going to make that dressing room better… good luck.

Now to what fans care about during games: the on-ice reasons to acquire Brown.

Brown, 27, is listed at 6’0″ and 204 pounds and he ranks second among all forwards with 215 hits in 61 games. However, has only been called for 43 penalty minutes this season. Not many forwards bring it physically every single night the way Brown does, which the Blackhawks are desperately lacking.

What unit on the Blackhawks needs help the most? How about the power play, which is struggling through a drought that is approaching biblical standards right now. Brown averages 3:34 on ice per game on the power play for the Kings, which ranks 25th among NHL forwards to date. He also has five power play goals.

Brown is a right wing, but he’s also a right-handed shot. What do Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Viktor Stalberg have in common? They’re all left-handers. Brown would bring a dynamic to the top-six that only Patrick Sharp has been able to provide the Hawks’ top six in this regard as well.

What would it cost the Hawks to land the Kings’ captain? It’s hard to say. He has 14 goals and 17 assists in 61 games this year, but has been over 50 points in each of the last four seasons with LA. Because they’re different players (on and off the ice), Lombardi moving defenseman Jack Johnson and a first round pick to Columbus for Carter is hard to use as a benchmark for offers.

The most important question for Chicago GM Stan Bowman is whether or not Brown, or any other player he acquires, is the right player for this team. In this case, the answer is an emphatic yes.

49 thoughts on “Dustin Brown Available? The Blackhawks Should Buy

  • February 24, 2012 at 12:34 am

    What do you think the Kings will be looking for in return? More scoring?

  • February 24, 2012 at 12:36 am

    LA now doesn’t have a pick in the first 3 rounds of the 2012 Draft, so that might be a good palce to start. They are desperate for scoring as well, so someone that can provide that would likely be included. But, like I said, it’s hard to know what Lombardi is asking for when making his captain available

  • February 24, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Playing one wing or the other – for some guys it doesn’t matter, for others it does. Hossa and Kane are two guys who seem very reluctant to play on the opposite side. So where does Brown fit in? Can he play the left side and still be as effective?

    But really … this sounds like more of the TDL rumor mongers stiring the pot. Dreger and those guys make their living talking hockey and this is one of the prime seasons for hockey talkers to tease the masses.

  • February 24, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Hey Glenn, you’re right about some members of the media stirring the pot at this time of year. However, Brown IS in play… who knows if they will move him or not, but I know that they are dangling Bernier and Brown to get more scoring. They don’t really think they need help on the blueline… (damn, that sounds like Eklund)

    As far as Brown, he’s a natural right winger and probably plays better there, but he’s been playing left wing for the last few weeks. Here’s the best way to describe it: he’s more creative on the left side, but more productive on the right side.

    If you really want to consider Brown coming to Chicago, you guys might want to think of what they’d have to give up for a package of Bernier/Brown. If we’re guessing, that would be just as likely as Brown by himself…

  • February 24, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Hey Matt, LA is in win now mode – the Hawks don’t really have anything that is better than Brown offensively other than the 4 allstar guys – Toews/Kane/Sharp/Hossa and I don’t see how trading one of them for Brown helps the Hawks. Bolland and Stalberg are the other two guys with double digit goals but really wouldn’t be an upgrade for LA so why would they do it? It would seem other trading partners would be able to offer more than the Hawks would/could.

    If Bernier gets added to the picture – then maybe it’s more probable, but the Hawks (hopefully) haven’t given up on Crawford after having subjected him to play behind one of the league’s worse defenses.

  • February 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

    This would be an amazing addition to the hawks roster! I doubt the Kings will part ways with Brown however.

  • February 24, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I’ve always liked DB…get him if the price is reasonable to work with. Without a doubt!

  • February 24, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Tab, sounds like a great aquisition, except- what would the Hawks be giving up???

    The only thing that makes sense for Kings (win now mode/ need scoring) is a Kane type contract + picks for Brown/Bernier… or Brown for Rookie (Hayes/Pirri) + picks-
    (Kings are near cap so maybe they want cheaper secondary scoring).

    We really aren’t good enough to trade Bollie or Stalberg for Brown… and be any better for it.

  • February 24, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Oh, I’d definitely attack to get this player. They’re total diamonds and extremely rare. Everyone wants these players.

    I’d cough up Hjalmarsson, Saad and a draft pick. It probably wouldn’t be enough but thats where I’d start.

  • February 24, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Great article Tab and I agree…I think you are right about the Kings in terms of what they would want in return…if we gave them a serviceable player now, an offensive prospect and a higher pick, then this deal is done…

    Dustin Brown IS CHARACTER…this is what wins championships…he is the toughness and grit we need…and let’s speak plainly, he is what Toews needs…the acquisition of Brown allows us to go back to 2 dominant lines and and the best checking 3rd line in the league…for the Hawks to win in the playoffs, or to even make the playoffs, we need Tazer healthy, Brown gives Toews the best chance to stay that way…keep Scott, but use him as a winger on the 4th line and voila, we have toughness and depth in the lineup night after night.


    Frolik, Brandon Pirri and our 2nd round pick gone to LA for Brown

    We would still need a true top 4 DMan, but this would give us 4 lines with purpose. The first line puck control, speed, forechecking and scoring…the 2nd line puck control, speed and scoring…the 3rd line checking, banging, and depth scoring…and the 4th line banging, experience and protection…

    This kind of set up would take pressure off of our defence, making them a little better, and would allow high skill players like Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa to play with a little more space on the ice and with a little less fear…


  • February 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

    McKenzie said this morning that the reason LA is making him available has nothing to do with Brown the player, more to do with Brown the captain.. Interesting.

  • February 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Dustin Brown with 42 giveaways this year….tops on the Hawks has 26. His 67 last year bested the Hawks leader by 27.

  • February 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Brunette is too slow to be out there for us. It goes against what were trying to do as a team. I realize he is a specialty player around the crease, but Hayes might be able to replace him in that role. We need to role out 4 lines that can skate.

  • February 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Love the premise of this article, but boy the way Stan Bowman has approached the previous trade deadlines…I just can’t see him doing what it takes to get this done. Yes having this type of player is exactly what the hawks need, but to get him I dont think Bowman will have the “stones” to get it done.

  • February 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

    So we’re going to use the last 2 years as a benchmark for Boiwman? When he dumped Cam Barker for Leddy (& they won the Cup) and last year, when he had zero cap space? There’s no foundational logic in using how Bowman has used the last 2 deadlines because the circumstances of the 3 seasons couldn’t be more different.

  • February 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Just thinking aboot this more…

    I really believe that Bowman should aggressively pursue this.

    It isn’t fighters that deter the cheap shots. Its the bangers. And Dustin Brown is one of the best. Think back to 2010 playoffs. It was all ‘Where’s Byfuglien? Watch out! Byfuglien!’ Meanwhile Kane and Toews had all the room they needed.

    Same thing here. Brown would be a wrecking on that line that no opposing player has the time to go attack Kaner because they gotta keep a look out in not being crushed by Brown. I know thats my fear every time we play L.A.

    I want this player!

  • February 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Agree. Get this deal done. If Bowman gets Brown, he’s a hero in my book. The Leddy deal was a steal from the Wild.

  • February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I sure hope that Stan reads your blog Tab!!

  • February 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Hold on…Were giving Bowman credit for the cup win?!?
    “When he dumped Cam Barker for Leddy (& they won the Cup) and last year”
    I don’t feel like getting into an argument, but that roster was composed by Tallon…

    I am referring to deadline deals that Bowman has gotten done since being appointed GM.

    2010-2011 deadline trade
    To Ottawa Senators:
    Ryan Potulny/Conditional 2nd-round pick in 2011
    To Chicago Blackhawks:
    Chris Campoli/Conditional 7th-round pick in 2012
    (How did this deadline trade help the club? Campoli is no longer with us. Potulny is in the AHL with 42 pts in 41 games, oh and he plays center…We lost in 7 to the Canucks in the opening round)

    If your only argument is that he was “handcuffed” by Tallon being so up against the cap, Im sorry I don’t buy it…he has 5M in space this year and has yet to do anything with it while teams within the division continue to get better. He had a chance to clear more cap space in previous years but he has deemed half the roster “untouchable”.

    Ill give you the Barker trade for Leddy, yes of course that move was brilliant. Barker was a train wreck and to get a kid with the upside of Leddy was epic. But he is 20 years old and at times through this year has played like it (-12 to date). But this move didn’t improve the team for that CUP run year. Kim Johnsson, the other player we received in the deal, played 8 games and was never heard of again and Leddy spent the rest of the year on the farm. How did they move Bowman made impact the team that year? It didn’t…

  • February 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Just read Jaekel’s piece on HockeyBuzz and agree Bowman is either being outplayed by more experienced GM’s or he’s afraid to make a mistake. It’s a joke if we stay pat this year and have already been outflanked on several aquisitions that would have upgraded our D. To watch Carter go is frustrating and we’re told “just sit tight, he knows what he’s doing”, “We tried but got outbid”, “Can’t move our precious prospects”, etc. Look, noone in our prospect pipe is a lock to better than a 3rd line complementary player and many of our so-called stars look pretty ordinary to me. We clearly need a significant upgrade on D (a top 4 guy), and a top-6 banger on O, preferably at center. I’m still waiting. Stan? Staaannn? Staaaaannnn- are you there?

  • February 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Go Negzz GO!!!!

  • February 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    To Bryan: you must be new to the site. Welcome. I’ve NEVER given Stan cfedit for the Cup. But if you read what I actually said about the ’10 deadline, it’s true.

    To Negzz & everyone else: if you want Jeff Carter for 10 more years, good luck w/ that. And w/ all due respect to Hockeybuzz, they’re an O-for this year, so….

    I’m simply employing a reality-based moment of pause until the deadline has passed that, apparently, nobody else is willing to use. Bowman can still do something before the deadline, so let’s see what he’s got. Clearly he needs to do work, and (for the first time) has no cap restrictions. I’m simply waiting to put him on blast until the dust has settled.

  • February 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    “To Bryan: you must be new to the site. Welcome. I’ve NEVER given Stan cfedit for the Cup. But if you read what I actually said about the ’10 deadline, it’s true.”

    -Hey. where’s my welcome, dammit! I’m new! lol

    “To Negzz & everyone else: if you want Jeff Carter for 10 more years, good luck w/ that. And w/ all due respect to Hockeybuzz, they’re an O-for this year, so….”

    -Hey, hey, hey…don’t lump me in here when you say everyone else. I never wanted him…or Nash for that matter.

    “I’m simply employing a reality-based moment of pause until the deadline has passed that, apparently, nobody else is willing to use.”

    -Nobody else? There ya go again. Lumping us all as one.

  • February 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I think standing pat and bringing up the prospects as they became ready was a viable plan going forward at the end of last year. However, when he traded Campbell for nothing except salary cap space and then our defense suffered, Stan put the Hawks in a position that we likely needed to do something before the deadline in order to make a serious run at the Cup this year. While we don’t want to give away the future, I say if its a close call be aggressive and lets go for it. Of course, I just bought my playoff tickets and I want to win now.

  • February 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Tab, Logan and others that don’t/didn’t want Jeff Carter: Whattaya nuts?! This guys has averaged 36 goals per season the past 4 years and is also a good defensive forward (not a banger, but a good coverage guy that compares favorably to Bolland- the stats clearly show it.) Bottom line, he’s one of the top guys in the league in goal scoring and has a good 2-way game. Yes, he wasn’t happy in Columbus (big surprise), but he’s a legitimate #1 or 2 line center and in his prime at 27 years old. His cap hit is just over $5mil/yr. The Kings give them Johnson (decent potential D), and their 1st round pick (likely mid-teens.) HELLO?!! The Hawks NEED someone JUST LIKE Carter to get back to where they were- and there are very few available fellas. VERY few. Could have given em Hjalmarsson, Frolik or Bickel and our #1 and he’s ours. OR, given them Hjalm, a top prospect and our #1 and we’re instantly better. NO?! You have got to be kidding….

  • February 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    For the record, I don’t want Nash, VERY different situation, contract and price to acquire compared to Carter… Now watch…

  • February 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Negzz…I like Carter but yah…that contract! No thanks. We got enough of those and enough scoring.

    What we could use is that Dustin Brown. He’d be a great replacement for our last Dustin (Big Buff).

  • February 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I didn’t want Carter—overpriced, is hurt a lot, the contract is WAY too long.

    But Stan needs to bring in some help. I think he may ( I dont know the details ) have missed out on Quincy. He needs to start dealing —bringing in another Campoli on Monday isn’t going to cut it. This team needs some muscle ( read ” balls” ) and some energy. Needs to play hard EVERY night, not sometimes.


    We beat Detroit and the Rangers. Why cant we beat the Stars ? Because the team was not ready to play last night. Whose job is that ? It is Q’s job.

    I think he is part of the problem Always have .

  • February 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks Tab, must have misunderstood your first comment…

    I do enjoy the site, it seems like every hawks site writes about the same thing day after day, your site is refreshing in that instance.

    You are right, wait till Monday 3pm to discuss…

  • February 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Hey Tab!

    I’ve been wondering, is there any possibility whatsoever of prying away one of the Kings 2 goalies. I don’t think Crawford is a weakness or a problem, but the Kings need O badly and the Hawks need D. It just seems like they could be ideal trade partners if the Blackhawks were so inclined.

  • February 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I’m glad someone pointed out that Carter brought along a contract commitment through 2022; yes, 10 years. Plus, he’s supposedly a cancer. Anyone still want to blame Bowman for not getting him into our sweater? I really like the thought of acquiring Brown even though it won’t likely happen; even though he’s a wing he still would help the overall team defense as his work ethic in the opponent’s end and corners would be a big plus.
    I also don’t think moving Hammer is a good idea as some keep proposing (even if they now wanted to his injury status will significantly detract from his value) as I’m looking longer term and bigger picture and think he will rebound in due time and revert back to the form he had in 09/10.
    Bottom line, I hope Bowman stands pat unless a player of value, character, attractive & workable contract, and age is available and too good to pass up. I don’t want to lose any key core players or any of the top-tier prospects to get some marginal player who cannot be viewed as a long term contributor.

  • February 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I saw something that Hjarmlson is not going on the road trip. Maybe a relapse or new injury. Also Buffalo beat Boston tonight. I wonder if they are still willing to be “sellers” as they are now playing better and can still make the playoffs. We could be minus one potential trading partner. I say go for Nash and make a run. The guys a top player in the league. Lets go for it.

  • February 25, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Trading Saad would be a big mistake,Bowman keeping him was the best move I seen yet.No Forwards needed until a good Dman is in place.

  • February 25, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I’m going to say nothing major happens viz. a trade. It’s just not the market for what the Blackhawks need. Too many teams in the playoff hunt, too much demand for the type of players the blackhawks need and not enough supply. My hunch is that after Tallon, Bowman has been tasked with being a bit more financially balanced and conservative. He’s only been aggressive in unloading players. I say lets see what happens this year and let that determine what we do in the offseason…

  • February 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Linda, Greg at al; I get the issue with Carter’s 10 years, but our very own D.Keith is booked for 13 years and at slightly more $$ than Carter annually. (FYI- Carter is a better player IMO.) Kane’s deal is for over $6mil/year (5 years), and Carter would be an upgrade as a 2-way player (as you know, defense is not all about the D, it’s a team game to shut down the other guys and Kane is lacking in this dept.) That said, so Carter is gone and it’s a done deal. I’ll get over it. (…and for those that are dying to hold onto Saad, etc- c’mon, I like the kid but not to hold for hope and potential when there is PROVEN major league talent available…) So what’s next Stan? Any ideas? We’re waaaiitingggg…

  • February 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @Negzz: if you would honestly rather have Jeff Carter on the Blackhawks than Duncan Keith, my only response is laughter.

  • February 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Tab, do you have any thoughts on whether Bowman should pay a premium before the deadline to make a run this year. Since it appears Bowman is good at drafting and the Hawks have invested more in scouting its got to be hard to give up top draft picks.

  • February 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    GREAT question, Pete. There are two realities that we as fans need to remember when criticizing Bowman for taking his time (which is perception, not necessarily reality imo). One of those is that Bowman has indeed drafted well, and clearly values draft picks, so using those to make a splash does have that drawback.

    But the other point we all need to remember is that, in the midst of a market handing out ridiculously long contracts, Bowman only signed forwards to one-year deals last summer. The Blackhawks will need to replace Brunette, Carcillo, Morrison, Mayers, Lepisto, O’Donnell, Scott & Emery this summer. Odds are, we’ve already seen the organization’s ideal replacement for many of these guys (Hayes, Morin, Shaw, Saad, Olsen, etc). Considering the open roster spots that will, on paper, open up this summer, do you move one of the guys expected to fill one of those roles (say Pirri or Morin) with a high pick for a guy that’s only around until the season ends?

  • February 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Its a very interesting dilemma because we all want to win right now. Historically, have teams gone from playoff contenders to Stanley Cup Champions because of an aggressive trade deadline move where the future is somewhat mortgaged? I always get the feeling that if you put one more top player in the lineup it pushes everyone down one spot and then we would have a big advantage.

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Personally Tab, after winning 4 in a row to end the losing streak I am very surprised that Bowman has not made a move, and allowed a number of division rivals to get stronger…it is apparent that the deal breaker for the Hawks has been NOT giving up our #1 draft pick to make a deal…and with less than 48 hours to go, this is what will be eating up Bowman’s time, and likely mind…does he give up his first rounder in 2012 to make a deal or does he fold on this year’s team and stand pat…and the fact of the matter is this…if it is just for a rental player, stand pat and take your chances as is…but if we can get someone who can address the #2 centre spot for some time, then yes, move the pick and get the player…

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    @Brad: which deal, for a d-man or 2C, that has already happened should Bowman have matched? It’s one thing if Bowman doesn’t want to trade a 1st round pick, but I have yet to see a deal the Hawks should have made in which a first round pick would have been required.

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    After they invest all the time scouting there are probably some players they really want to draft so I can see how its hard to give up the pick. But you can always trade back up on draft day to get somebody you want.

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Tab, Brassard and Roy?

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Brassard intriguing, talented player… not sure the organization thinks he’s better than a kid they wanna look at next year (KHayes, McNeill specifically). Roy would be a solid add, but it depends on what Buffalo wants. They needed to lose a couple more games recently to feel more like sellers… here’s hoping something opens up in the next 48 hrs

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Your right about Buffalo. They started winning just in time not to give up on this season. Brassard looked like he had a lot of skill and that he could skate when he scored on us in Colombus. Khayes is a soph where I went to undergrad(BC) I didn’t realize he was a center and might be ready next year. I would trade danault as a prospect because we got him for Brower and that I could justify even though I know that makes no sense.

  • February 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm


  • February 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    2 goals for Brown… I’d say he is off the table!

    Negzz, I feel you man… Keith, Kane not worth the money. Keith did not win Norris, most dominant TEAM in hockey did.

    Why is it our PP w/ all this talent can’t get a D man’s shot on goal 5-4 then the King’s D man can drive a frickin truck thru his shooting lane… SELL! SELL! SELL!

  • February 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Let me reprise my comments from the other day…they seem perhaps even more poignant in light of the debacle in LA…

    Get it through your heads…all of you…without Tazer this is an AVERAGE team at best. They played well against the Wings because the other “stars” on the team showed up, but tonight they DIDN’T…

    This is what you get from most Hawk players night in and night out…some good, some bad…some strong effort, and then, not so much…

    You worry about the Hawks moving up in the standings??? Please, they are in a dog fight for the last play off position in this conference, flat out…and without Toews, they won’t make it…

    Bowman has sat on his pampered a$$ and has allowed playoff teams in this conference, even in this division, out manoeuvre him day after day…does he know something that we don’t???

    YEP…and that is we are worse than even many of us believe we are…it is the only way to determine his behaviour leading up to the deadline…

    JT is the backbone of this hockey team and without him we aren’t much on a consistent basis…

    And to all of you Patrick Kane lovers…WOW!

  • February 27, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Im wondering if Lil Bo’ is thinking in the back of his mind of waiting till summer to get Suter. If he does not make any splash at the deadline Im holding off judgement until Nashvilles mess is handled.

    Then I will get my pitchfork ready.

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