It was a big day for Dustin Brown, who took to the ice for training camp with two new linemates, center Mike Richards and left winger Simon Gagne. Brown, as team captain, also faced the questions about the absence of Drew Doughty. Brown and Doughty are good friends and roommates on the road, so after today’s camp session, Brown touched on the topics of the day.
Question: Does it impact the team at all, not having Doughty out there?
BROWN: “I think we just go about our work, really. I think everyone is aware that he’s not here. But you get on the ice and you do what you have to do in order to get yourself ready. From an individual standpoint, you’re not thinking about it. Everyone is aware of it, but you’re trying to get yourself ready. Training camp is about timing. We’ve got a couple new guys and I’m playing with two of them, but for me it’s about getting to know those guys and getting ready for the season.”
Question: Have you been in touch with Drew?
BROWN: “I’ve been in contact with him, on and off, for three or months. Just like any other summer, but it’s not any other summer for him. I’ve talked to him more, here and there, through texts. It’s more or less not worrying about his issues, his contract and stuff, but just seeing how he’s doing. Knowing Drew, he gets pretty stressed about stuff like this. What happens between him and management, that will get done. I’m just more worried about him as a teammate.”
Question: What was it like out there with Richards and Gagne?
BROWN: “It was one day in practice. It feels good. I’ve played against Richie and I know his type of style. I didn’t know Gagne nearly as well, but that’s what training camp is for. Today, the first day, is the hardest, because the intensity picks up for the guys who haven’t been on the ice, and the ice is what it is. That’s why we have training camp, to kind of work out the kinks.”
Question: It looked like there was quite a bit of on-ice communication between the three of you…
BROWN: “From playing in Philly, I think they have a good idea of how each other play. I’m just trying to incorporate myself into how they did things in Philly, because they obviously were really successful there. It’s tougher out here because it’s a practice situation and we’re doing very specific drills. Once we get into games, it’s more about chemistry.”