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Morning Skate: The end is nigh for Dustin Brown in Los Angeles

But Ken Hitchcock and the Stanley Cup Final are back!

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Lace 'em up. Time for the Morning Skate.

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I know the Stanley Cup Final began last night, but you already knew that. Here's a headline you might've missed over the holiday weekend: the Los Angeles Kings are reportedly stripping Dustin Brown of the captaincy after eight years. This is significant for two reasons. First, it's about time. In an era where captaincies are usually held by your best or most respected players, Dustin Brown's brand of third-line production with a pinch of occasional line-crossing seemed like a relic.

It also signals GM Dean Lombardi's willingness to get rid of a mistake he made by signing Brown to an eight-year, $47 million contract extension three years ago. The dude makes $5.875 million per year and hasn't registered 30 points in a season since 2012. I don't know how the Kings get rid of that contract, but I can't wait to watch them try.


Thank you for your patience. In case you were watching basketball, spending time with your family on Memorial Day or something else not as important as hockey, the Penguins took Game 1 in a thrilling match with the Sharks. Here are some things we learned:

For more reaction, hit up our Penguins blog and Sharks blog today.


The final rosters for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey were released on Friday, and you can check all of them out here. If you're mad about Justin Faulk and Phil Kessel not making Team USA, you're not alone. And the Slava Voynov case is going to be fascinating to watch.

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According to reports, the Blues are planning on keeping coach Ken Hitchcock around for another year. It's hard to argue with that. The Blues didn't just exorcise their first-round demons; they took out the defending champions, best Western Conference regular season team and came within a stone's throw of the Stanley Cup Final. That's worth an extension. Now they need to work on bringing back David Backes.