With Dustin Brown retiring, the former LA Kings captain is receiving plenty of praise from former teammates, including Colin Fraser.
While change is a given for each new season, no transition will be bigger for the LA Kings than the 2022-23 campaign. That is because, for the first time since the 2003-04 season, Dustin Brown will not be a part of the Kings’ active roster. That is because the 37-year-old announced his retirement at the conclusion of this past regular season.
While the news is certainly disappointing, Brown’s ride off into the sunset, so to speak, has sparked some fond memories. Many of those have come from the Ithaca, N.Y. native’s former teammates.
Among those is Colin Fraser, who was with the Kings between 2011 and 2014. There, he celebrated two Stanley Cup victories with Brown.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Fraser recently, who was kind of to take some time out of his busy schedule to reflect on his former teammate.
“Brownie was a true pro,” Fraser emphasized. “The way he carried himself on and off the ice. Quiet and humble off the ice. Intense and hard on the ice.”
But in 2011, Fraser’s tenure with the Kings almost never came to fruition.
In an effort to trade veteran Ryan Smyth to Edmonton, the Kings appeared to have a deal that would have sent Gilbert Brule from the Alberta capital to Los Angeles. That deal, however, never materialized. Instead, the Kings received Fraser from the Oilers, who inauspiciously began his tenure injured.
Fraser, however, redeemed himself in a short time. What helped most was the support and welcoming of his teammates right off the bat, including Brown. In fact, playing with the former Kings captain remains a personal and professional highlight for the Chemainus, B.C. native.
“I consider myself lucky to have played with him,” Fraser noted. “Brownie plays the game the right way. Intense, hard, and clean. Consistent and never takes a night off.”
Following a short stint in St. Louis and a season in Germany, Colin Fraser hung up his skates in 2016 before transitioning into a scout, which he now serves entering his fifth season with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Looking back on his playing career, though, Fraser considers himself blessed. This is especially due to playing alongside Dustin Brown and the Kings.
“I consider myself very lucky and maybe I should have bought a lottery ticket or two along the way, but I was able to play with a lot of good players and for a lot of good coaches for some good organizations,” the former Red Deer Rebel told me back in 2019. “I consider myself fortunate looking back on it.”
Dustin Brown has certainly had an impact on a plethora of teammates he had over the course of his 18-year career. Colin Fraser is no exception to this, who was quick to wish Brown the best of luck in the next chapter of his life.