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Kopitar to Serve as Captain of Kings

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NHL

Anze Kopitar Will Serve as Captain for the Kings

After stripping Dustin Brown of his captaincy, the Los Angeles Kings named Anze Kopitar as his replacement.  The change was announced by Kings general manager Dean Lombardi. Kopitar will be the 14th captain in Kings franchise history.

After losing to the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Kings announced Brown would no longer be captain, citing they wanted to go in a different direction for captain. That new direction was announced today. Kopitar has served as an alternate captain to Brown since 2008, when Brown became captain.

Kopitar, 28, signed an 8 year, $80 million contract extension this summer, locking him up until 2024. He is known as one of the top shutdown centers in the league, consistently going up against top offensive players. But despite playing great defense, Kopitar has led the Kings in scoring the past 9 seasons. The Kings are hoping he will be able to keep his defensive and offensive production, while also taking on more leadership responsibilities, something Brown struggled with.

Brown, along with Kopitar, was a huge part of the Kings 2012 Stanley Cup run, but has since struggled to maintain a high offensive level. After 5 straight 20 or more goal seasons, Brown has scored under 20 his last 4 seasons, and only 11 the past two. While nobody is questioning his leadership capabilities, the Kings hope this will allow Brown to rediscover his offensive touch.

No alternate captains were named today, Matt Greene is likely to keep his title. Defenseman Drew Doughty is the most likely choice to take Kopitar’s spot as alternate. Brown and forward Jeff Carter may also be considered for the role. Carter served as an alternate captain with the Philadelphia Flyers and served as an alternate when Greene was injured.

 

 

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