Kudos for Dustin Brown, and some leftover NHL awards notes
Space limitations in the newspaper prevented me from writing as much as I wanted about Kings captain Dustin Brown and the award he won Wednesday, but I didn’t want to let his achievement go unnoticed.
Brown won the NHL Foundation Award in recognition of his work in the community, and that deserves applause. So many athletes live here but don’t get involved in the community, but Brown and his wife, Nicole, make a point of it.
Last season he donated $50 for each of his hits to the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, a tidy $15,000. A similar donation-per-hit two seasons ago raised $70,000 for KaBoom, a non-profit organization that builds playgrounds for kids. He also raised money to aid victims of the Japan earthquake and participates in team programs that donate Kings tickets to kids and military personnel.
He said he and Nicole, as parents of three young sons, decided to focus on initiatives that benefit children after they had their first child, Jake.
“It changed my wife’s and my perspective,” he said by phone from Las Vegas, site of the NHL awards show. “We decided to try and focus on things related to kids and try to do the most good.
“As a team we try and do a lot of things focused on kids too. We go to Children’s Hospital once a year and sometimes it’s tough but it’s rewarding. It’s pretty amazing when you go in and see someone with an illness and they smile. You go in not knowing what to expect and thinking we’ll make them feel better, but they make us feel better.”
"I consider L.A. my home. My kids are going to grow up here and my wife and I love it here,” he said. “If we can have an impact here, that’s something we’d like to do.”
Seems like he already has.
A few tidbits from the NHL awards gala:
Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky finished fourth in voting for the Norris tTophy. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, a Norris finalist last year and widely projected as a potential winner this season, finished in a tie for 10th with eight points.
Visnovsky also finished 13th in voting for the Lady Byng (sportsmanship), which was won by Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis for the second straight season. Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne was sixth and Kings center Anze Kopitar was 11th.
Ducks General Manager Bob Murray was fourth in voting for the GM of the year, an honor won by Vancouver's Mike Gillis. Dean Lombardi of the Kings got no votes in balloting by NHL executives, print and broadcast media.
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler was eighth in voting for rookie of the year.
Kopitar was ninth in voting for the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward. The winner was Vancouver's Ryan Kesler by a surprising margin, 1,179 points to 476 for Chicago's Jonathan Toews.
Congrats to all the winners.
One more note: the NHL is expected Thursday to release the schedule for the 2011-12 season. There is no off-season anymore, is there?
-- Helene Elliott
Photos: Dustin Brown addresses the media at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Credit: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images