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A summer of reflection appears to have produced a new version of Dustin Brown, judging from his impactful opening month of the NHL season.Or has the old Dustin Brown returned?Either way, an offseason that saw him stripped of the Los Angeles Kings captaincy has certainly changed him.Theres a lot of things that go into it. I went through a lot of things this summer, Brown said Tuesday. I think the main thing is that Im just having fun playing again. We get to play a game for a living, and I understand that. But it doesnt matter what you do in life -- if youre not having doing fun doing it, sometimes its very difficult.The change was made in the summer, general manager Dean Lombardi said, to pass the mantle to other players who have developed into the role.Its essentially their turn, Lombardi told local media on a conference call June 16, a sentiment he reiterated to ESPN on Wednesday. This is something that was on the board, that a transition needs to take place, and theyve been groomed for this as players and leaders.As a result, the summer provided Brown -- a two-time Stanley Cup champion -- plenty of time to think about the game, his team and his role on it.For one, he no longer appears to be carrying a piano on his back.I put pressure on myself, just naturally, and collectively as a team and what our expectations are, Brown said. I dont think those expectations have changed, but my approach probably has. Just how I look at things has been a little bit different and has allowed me to enjoy the game again.Brown has put up eight points (two goals and six assists) in 13 games this season, while also providing the other elements that have made him successful. Hes on pace for 50 points after putting up just 28 last season.[He] can impact the game even when he is not scoring, a rival Western Conference head coach said via text of Brown, who averaged 54 points per season from 2006-07 through 2011-12. Looks like he is back on track this year. Extra effort is back and thats his game.Is Brown unburdened by no longer wearing the C? No player would admit that; theres so much pride in being captain of an NHL team. But Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton?reacted well, in terms of their production, after the San Jose Sharks removed their captaincies over the years.Thats the example I set forth to Brown, and he understood the point about shedding the mental burden of leadership.I think theres something to it, just on a day-to-day basis, Brown said. In a way I took everything personally, whether it was individually or collectively as a team. Whether its conscious or not, theres probably something to it, [and] you kind of let it go. My attitude is still the same. But its one of those things where I just try to support Kopy and just worry about my game.Yes, the fact that its his good pal Anze Kopitar who replaced him as captain clearly made the transition easier. Their stalls are right beside each other, on the road and in L.A.That deep-rooted friendship -- both are first-round picks, two years apart, and grew up together on this team -- has been key in this all working.Id say its not the ideal situation for both of us, obviously, Kopitar said Tuesday. Id say our friendship goes beyond that. Weve played together for 10-plus years and developed a friendship thats the type you dont lose overnight.It was maybe a little bit weird at first, at that exact moment, but weve been friends for a long time and thats not going to change.Added Brown: Its not like Kopy was in there knocking down doors, saying he wanted to be captain. That might have been more awkward, him pushing for it. But we talked pretty soon after it was announced. Its no different for us.I think it would be somewhat embarrassing initially, as in a What did I do wrong? way, said Ray Ferraro, a former captain of the Atlanta Thrashers and now an analyst with TSN. That team has been together so long, the feeling must be that Kopitar is the acknowledged leader, so it might make things easier. [Browns] great start looks like he is unburdened.Still, as excited, flattered and honored as Kopitar was to be the next Kings captain, he made sure from across the pond in Slovenia that his pal was OK.We texted back and forth. I guess I wanted to make sure there wouldnt be any hard feelings, Kopitar said. Brownie is a classy guy. I dont think there was any awkwardness between us at all. So that helped.Brown had heart-to-heart offseason conversations with Kings management.?Lombardi and Brown had five meetings and they werent just about the change in captaincy. The GM also told Brown he needed to get back to being an impact player, measuring up to his salary and contract. Brown shared his own thoughts, too. By all accounts, it was a healthy dialogue.It kind of caught me off guard, the timing of it. But it allowed me to have some candid conversations, both ways, Brown said. You get it out in the open and you move forward.Still, a proud man, Brown -- who replaced Rob Blake as captain in 2008 -- went through the gauntlet of emotions.You have to get through it and let the emotion settle down, Brown said. You got to let it settle and figure out what to do moving forward. Naturally, I was pissed off.I was pretty upset.Seems these days like hes funneling that emotion into his game.Now the question is where this all leads. Brown, who turned 32 last Friday, has a modified no-trade clause but not a full no-movement clause in his contract -- which means the Kings could expose him in the expansion draft in June. Its not to suggest I think they will, but people have wondered. He has five more years on his deal after this season at a $5.875 million annual cap hit.I want to be a King as long as they want me, Brown said when asked about his future. The biggest thing I can do for both myself and the team is just get back to the player that I can be. And help this team win games. Thats my immediate focus. Adidas NHL Jerseys Outlet . Its an influence in football and a big part of the game. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys China . -- Linebacker Myles Jack ran for four touchdowns, defensive end Cassius Marsh caught a scoring pass, and No. http://www.nhljerseys.us/ . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys Authentic . The head of USA Boxing came out swinging Tuesday with an open letter to Tyson -- a former Olympic hopeful himself -- that accuses the former heavyweight champion of trying to poach fighters who might be candidates for the U. Clearance Adidas NHL Jerseys . Deulofeu injured a muscle in his right leg in Evertons 4-1 win over Fulham in the English Premier League on Saturday. Barcelona says that its team doctors will "co-ordinate" with Evertons medical staff as Deulofeu recovers. ASHBURN, Va. -- Sua Cravens figured out a few practices into his NFL career what life in the trenches was like.I was about 217 pounds playing (middle) linebacker with no pads on going against guys like (tackles Ty Nsekhe and Trent Williams), Cravens recalled, and I didnt know Trent was as fast as me so I got thrown out the club about three or four times in the first couple OTA practices before I was like, `OK let me just make a decision and live with it.The second-round pick out of USC who coach Jay Gruden wanted to list as a hybrid on the roster got his crash course and is now delivering hits. Despite being small for the position at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, Cravens is working at linebacker and drawing attention from opponents for his versatility and how his role has rapidly expanded.You can just see the way they are using him, said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, whose team will face Cravens and the Redskins on Sunday night. Hes the pressure player in key moments of the game, so I think it tells you what the defensive staff thinks of him and just the confidence they have in him.Gruden and defensive coordinator Joe Barry want to keep Cravens on the field as much as possible, and the 21-year-old played a season-high 55 percent of snaps last week against Minnesota. The coaching staff is challenging Cravens more and more, and he oozes the confidence to be able to handle the tasks and assignments thrown at him.Cravens knew coaches trusted him when they left him in the game to defend a crucial Vikings drive late in the fourth quarter. He wasnt surprised to be out there, though.I know what kind of player I am, Cravens said. Im all about being humble, but Im not a slouch. If a team wants to try me or a team wants to attack me in those late moments where the coaches do trust me and put me in the game, then so be it.Cravens likely wouldve been an even bigger part of the Redskins improving defense had he not missed two games because of a concussion. Barry conceded that stunted the plans for him, but Cravens said the different blitz packages and formations that were being worked on in Weeks 3 and 4 are now being implemented and will be built on.Sua is a playmaker, and I think if we can be creative with putting him in different positions, whether its standard just linebackker positions or other positions around the formation to be able to make plays, Barry said.ddddddddddddHes getting into a nice flow, a nice rhythm.What makes Cravens valuable is his ability to pick up different positions with ease, something Gruden credits to instincts and football IQ. In a roundabout way, it helped having five different coaches in three seasons in college.It prepared me to play D-end, rush end, outside linebacker, corner, nickel, whatever -- just athlete, Cravens said. Being versatile isnt a bad thing these days.Versatility isnt just about playing multiple positions. Cravens has the speed to play in the secondary, the willingness to engage in physicality to stop the run and go up against offensive linemen and the mindset to rush the passer.All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman is super impressed with how Cravens has adjusted to doing all that in the NFL.He has that instinct in him, Norman said. You sparkplug that, and you see what you see out there. I enjoy playing with him. Hes one of the little dogs we can let off the leash here and there and let him go out there and crash-dummy some people. Its fun to see. Its fun for everybody to see. It gets everybody fired up. It electrifies people.Cravens electrifying personality shows through on the field and even on film. As impressed as McCarthy is in Cravens from video, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is also well aware of him.Hes moving around a lot, Rodgers said. Hes a very good blitzer, hes a good tackler, plays in space well. Hes obviously the kind of guy who might not fit into one specific role for a team, but hes just so talented you have to find a way to get him out there.Game notes WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, but Gruden said he did more than Wednesday, including participating in some team reps. Jackson wouldnt comment on his status for Sunday night. ... Long snapper Nick Sundberg tweaked his back in the weight room and sat out practice. OL Vinston Painter missed practice for personal reasons.---AP Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich contributed---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jersyes Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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