Kings' Dustin Brown ready for NHL season and Olympics
Reporting from Chicago
Kings forward Dustin Brown was in Chicago Thursday for the U.S. Olympic media summit, an event that brings together prospective Olympians from various winter sports to meet print, electronic and Internet media representatives.
Brown, who attended Team USA's orientation camp last week in Chicago, figures to play a prominent role for the U.S. in Vancouver because General Manager Brian Burke and Coach Ron Wilson want the team to bang and be physical. He said the orientation camp was unlike Team Canada's camp, which featured hard scrimmages and was scrutinized to the last detail by the Canadian media.
"It was good. It was more relaxed, I think, than Canada from the sound of it," Brown said. "We went on the ice a couple times. It was more like getting to know each other. I know most of the guys, anyway. There are some guys that are getting their first taste of USA Hockey and being around other players, so I think it was more of a get-to-know-each-other type thing."
There was no time to introduce systems or.....
Brown and the rest of the Kings will report to El Segundo for physicals on Saturday and will begin practicing on Sunday. This will be the second season for Coach Terry Murray, who was able to improve the shots-against and overall team defense. Those gains -- and a rise in the overall talent level -- will create higher expectations for this season, but Brown said the general continuity from last season to this season should provide stability and accelerate the team's learning curve.
"Everyone's a year older, a year wiser, a year more together," he said. "That's the more important thing. Everyone's been together. I don't know what the team will be but we have a good 15 guys that played on the team last year. That hasn't always been the case in L.A. Normally, at least since I've been there, there's always been a big rollover every year.
"I think that's going to help. You're coming back and you're seeing the same faces you don't have to spend the first three weeks of training camp getting to know people. You already know them, with the exception of [Ryan] Smyth and [Rob] Scuderi and a few spots that are open to young guys. That's the main difference."
Photo: Dustin Brown speaks during a news conference at the USOC media summit. Credit: Tommy Giglio / U.S. Presswire.