and the Keep Fighting initiative is the latest step.Ke

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Dustin Brown looked at the core of the Los Angeles Kings, and his decision was easy. He wanted to stay long-term, and he wanted to get the deal done himself. Brown did just that, signing for eight years and US$47 million, ensuring that this Stanley Cup-champion Kings team would have its captain around through the 2021-22 season. The right-winger joined goaltender Jonathan Quick, defencemen Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov and forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter as players signed for at least the next six seasons. "We werent built to win the Cup one year and then disappear," Brown said. "Now its kind of all come into place in the sense that were all going to be going through this together." That was Dean Lombardis goal when he took over as general manager in 2006. He acquired Richards and Carter and their contracts that run through 2020 and 2022, respectively, then tried to build on the first title in franchise history by keeping Quick around through 2023 and Doughty and Voynov through 2019. Signing Brown to this contract was just "part of the process." "It wasnt only building it, but trying to keep it together and then fit it under the cap," Lombardi said on a conference call Thursday. "Youre never done. It wasnt just about becoming a good team. It was doing these type of things so that you could, in the end, build a culture, have an identity." Brown is, in many ways, the Kings identity. The 28-year-old right-wingers aggressive forecheck led the way during the 2012 Stanley Cup run, when he was a point-a-game player. When Brown dealt with a knee injury and managed just three goals and an assist in 18 playoff games this past spring, the banged-up Kings couldnt get past the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference final. "He freely admits at times during his past season where, as the leader of this team, hes got to do more," Lombardi said. "Thats a sign of growth. Hes not there looking (like), Well, Im the captain, I should be getting all this money, Im great. Hes looking at it and saying, Ive got to be better here if were going to do this again." With the hope that the Kings could win it all again, Brown decided to represent himself in contract negotiations, citing a comfort level with the only NHL organization he has known. If he had an agent working on it, Brown said, talks probably would still be ongoing. Instead, Lombardi and Brown spoke in person and on the phone and hammered out a deal that counts $5.875 million against the salary cap beginning in 2014-15. "I really like the fact that the discussion was as much about the team and the cap and how it works from a team perspective as it was about what he thought he was worth," Lombardi said. "That shows hes working with the team." Brown did his homework, getting comparables from the NHL Players Association and analyzing his value. But he also knew full well "theres only so much money to go around." "Within the cap I think we have an opportunity to keep this team together," Brown said. "That was part of my decision in wanting to stay is I believe we have a chance to win." The Kings have undergone some changes since they won in 2012, losing defenceman Rob Scuderi and left-winger Dustin Penner in free agency, acquiring defenceman Robyn Regehr and trading backup goalie Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs. But the bulk of those who hoisted the Cup will be around for the foreseeable future. That includes Anze Kopitar, whos signed for three more seasons, and Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams, who are signed through the next two. "Its not only that our core is locked up," Brown said. "You look at our core and were all relatively within the same age group within a group of three or four years, and I think thats important." Its important to Lombardi to make sure his young stars didnt even get to unrestricted free agency. In a cap world where players are "moving around like musical chairs," he understands the value of continuity. "You kind of beat that part of the system which basically encourages players to move around and not have that attachment to a team," Lombardi said. "Thats what the system essentially does. Youre trying to, I guess, confront that. When youre able to keep your players locked up and fit them under the cap, thats part of the job." Naturally some things are going to change. Ron Hextall left to join the Philadelphia Flyers front office, so Lombardi hired long-time defenceman Rob Blake as assistant general manager. Its a "compliment" that success makes those in the organization more attractive to other teams, so Lombardi was prepared. "I was fortunate to have a guy like this right in our own back yard," Lombardi said of Blake. And fortunate to have a captain in Brown who wanted to sign a deal that takes him to the age of 37. The contract has a partial no-trade clause, according to Lombardi, who expressed no concern over it not working out. In signing Brown for eight years, Quick for 10, Doughty for eight and Voynov for six, Lombardi and the Kings are accepting risk. Injuries can happen to anyone, he said, but theres even more that goes into locking up a core group for so long. "Youve got to really trust the character of your players that theyre inherently competitive and theyre not going to get complacent," Lombardi said. "Whether its Doughty or Kopitar or Quick or Richards or Carter and now Browny, I am a 100 per cent that there is not going to be complacency in these kids." Cheap Natrell Jamerson Jersey .com) - The Chicago Blackhawks aim for their third three-game winning streak of the season when they host the struggling Edmonton Oilers in Sundays battle at the United Center. Cheap Rick Leonard Jersey . This should be celebrated because it will not always be this way. With the amount of money given to players by their clubs these days, it is a wonder that so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to take away many of their assets so they can play for a different team in the middle of their season. http://www.cheapsaintsjerseyselite.com/ . P.A. Parenteau scored early in the third period to help the Avs edge Toronto 2-1 on Tuesday night. Cory Sarich also scored for Colorado (3-0-0), which is off to its best ever start. Cheap Marcus Davenport Jersey . The return match will take place next Wednesday. Udinese leads Fiorentina 2-1 in the other semifinal. Napoli staged a second-half comeback from two goals down after Gervinhos opener and a stunning strike from Kevin Strootman. Cheap Saints Jerseys . -- Nathan Pancel scored twice as the Sudbury Wolves defeated the North Bay Battalion 4-2 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action. Michael Schumachers family has started a Keep Fighting initiative inspired by him while they and his management will continue to release no information on the condition of the former Formula One star following a skiing accident almost three years ago.Michaels health is not a public issue, and so we will continue to make no comment in that regard, manager Sabine Kehm said in a statement.This is also because we have to protect his intimate sphere. Legally seen and in the longer term, every statement related to his health would diminish the extent of his intimate sphere.We are aware that this may be difficult for some people, she said, adding that Michael has always been very protective of his privacy, even during the most successful times of his career.TThe record seven-time F1 world champion suffered life-threatening head injuries in a skiing accident in France on December 29, 2013.dddddddddddd He is back at his Swiss home with his family since September 2014.Schumachers family and management have lately started various social media activities for fans and the Keep Fighting initiative is the latest step.Keep Fighting seeks to channel the positive energy received by the seven times Formula One world champion and his family as a force for good in the world, said the statement which quoted Schumachers wife Corinna as saying: We would like to encourage others to never give up. 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