Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown is looking toward the future after being replaced as captain by center Anze Kopitar.
"It's not really a fun thing to go through, but you try to learn from it and take the positives from it," Brown told the Los Angeles Daily News on Friday. "The only other option is an option I'm not interested in. Adversity, both individually and teamwide, if you take the right attitude, can make you better. That's my approach."
Kings management made the change on June 16 and named Kopitar captain after the Kings were eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Brown, 31, finished last season with 11 goals, matching his NHL career low for a full season, and 28 points. He hasn't reached 30 points in a season since 2011-12, when he had 54.
Brown had been captain of the Kings since 2008. He has six seasons remaining on an eight-year contract that has an average annual value of $5.875 million and has a limited no-trade clause, according to General Fanager.
Kopitar, the 14th captain in Kings history, has led them in scoring in each of the past nine seasons and won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward last season. He is at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 in Toronto playing with Team Europe, which has a semifinal game against Team Sweden on Sunday (1 p.m. ET; ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports).
"The most important thing is on the ice he needs to be the player he is," Brown said of Kopitar. "I think the off-ice stuff will take care of itself. He's just got to be ready to play hockey. I think that's the most important thing for him.
"I don't think really much has changed inside this [dressing] room. That's all I really care about. People are going to write what they write and think what they're going to think outside this room. Coming back into this room, it's all the same group of guys. We've all been through a lot worse. This is a minor hiccup, really, in the grand scheme of things."