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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Kings captain/forward Dustin Brown has been named a finalist for the 11th Annual NHL Foundation Player Award, which is presented to a player “in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community,” the Kings and the National Hockey League announced Monday.

Brown: Community Nominee | Children's Hospital | Playground Build
Kaboom! | Brown Partners with Kaboom! | Playground Build Pics
Kings All-Time NHL Awards

The winner of this year’s Award will be announced on Thursday, June 18, during the 2009 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS.  Alex Kovalev (Montreal) and Rick Nash (Columbus) are the other two finalists.

Brown, 24, is as active off the ice in the community as he is on the ice with the Kings.  This season, Brown sought a program that would have a positive impact on the country’s childhood obesity epidemic and encourage children to be active and healthy. He partnered with KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization with the mission of providing a place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Brown donated $50 for each of his hits this season, which raised more than $35,000 that will go toward building a playground in his hometown of Ithaca, New York.  Brown ranked eighth in the NHL and first with the Kings with 285 hits.  This past March, Brown also worked with children from the LA area to build a playground at the Bellflower YMCA.

Brown is also a spokesperson for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and encouraged fans to support the Kings 4 Kids Night that raised nearly $25,000 for the organization. He is a supporter of the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and participates in all Kings community initiatives -- including his personal favorite, the Adopt-a-Family program, through which players provide holiday gifts for underprivileged families.

Brown was also named the Kings “Hometown Hero” at the Southern California Sports Choice Awards and recognized as a 2009 Outstanding Young Californian by the California Jaycees Foundation and the California Junior Chamber for his “commitment to challenge and inspire California’s youth.” 

An All-Star for the first time this year, Brown was selected as the Kings MVP, Most Popular Player and he was the recipient of the Kings Community Service Award after finishing third on the Kings with 53 points, 24 goals and 29 assists (which tied a career high set in 2006-07).  He also led the Kings with six game-winning goals; tied for third on the Kings with seven power-play goals; led the Kings with 17 multi-point games (the team was 12-2-3 in those games); led the Kings (and ranked eighth in the NHL) with a career-high 292 shots; and he ranked fourth on the Kings with 37 takeaways.

Named the 15th captain in Kings history on October 8, Brown is also the youngest captain in Kings history and the first American-born captain in Kings history.  He is currently in Switzerland representing the United States at the 2009 IIHF World Championships.  He is also serving as a captain of the U.S. squad.

Brown, who agreed to a six-year contract extension with the Kings on October 26, 2007, was originally selected by the Kings in the first-round (13th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Brown has 192 points (89-103=192) and 269 penalty minutes in 349 career games with the Kings. 

National Hockey League players have a long-standing tradition of embracing charities and other important causes in communities throughout North America.  NHL member clubs are constant in their quest to provide impactful community programs and helping local schools, hospitals, and charitable organizations.  In recognition of their dedication, the NHL Foundation annually awards $25,000 to a current player charity that embodies the core values of the NHL - commitment, perseverance, and teamwork.

NHL Clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists were selected by a judging panel.  The NHL Foundation judging panel consists of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman; NHL Senior Vice President, Communications and NHL Foundation Executive Director Bernadette Mansur; Hockey Hall of Famer and Founder of Companions in Courage Pat LaFontaine; and NHL Vice President of Community & Diversity Programming Kenneth Martin, Jr.

In its 11th year, the NHL Foundation Player Award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community. Past recipients honored for their charitable work were: Trevor Linden and Vincent Lecavalier (2008), Joe Sakic (2007), Marty Turco (2006), Jarome Iginla (2004), Darren McCarty (2003), Ron Francis (2002), Olaf Kolzig (2001), Adam Graves (2000), Rob Ray (1999), and Kelly Chase (1998).

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