Dustin Brown has taken his place as one of the greatest players in Los Angeles Kings history. Prior to Saturday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Kings retired Brown's No. 23 and unveiled a statue in his likeness outside Crypto.com Arena.
Brown announced his retirement following the Kings' 2021-22 season, and he ended his career with a pair of Stanley Cup rings and the franchise record for games played with 1,296. Brown now becomes the seventh player in Kings history to have his number retired and the fourth member of the organization to get a statue, joining Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille and broadcaster Bob Miller.
Before Brown's number was raised to the rafters, Brown stepped up to the podium to share a few memories and thank those that supported him along the way. One of the first things Brown did when he began his speech was thank his parents, who were by his side for this special night.
Even though he was a first-round pick, Brown quickly realized he didn't know much about playing at the NHL level. For that matter, he didn't know much about parking at the NHL level.
Brown and Drew Doughty were not only major pieces of two Stanley Cup teams, but they were also great friends. Brown took the time to thank Doughty for his comedic contributions off the ice as much as his play on it.
As part of the ceremony, the Kings played a tribute video for Brown in which a number of his former teammates, as well as former head coach Darryl Sutter, spoke about the impact he made on the franchise.
Once Brown was done speaking, it was time to raise No. 23 into the Crypto.com Arena rafters forever. Brown, with his wife and children by his side, got to witness his name and number take their place beside NHL legends.
The Kings drafted Brown No. 13 overall in the 2003 NHL Draft, and he became the team's 13th captain in 2008. Just a few years later, in 2012, Brown led the Kings to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Two years after that, Brown captained the Kings to yet another Stanley Cup in 2014.
Brown experienced the ultimate high for an NHL player, but he also displayed perseverance in the face of adversity. In 2016, after a few down years, Brown was stripped of his captaincy and replaced by Anze Kopitar.
Undeterred, Brown bounced back in the 2017-18 season and turned in a career year with 61 points. From there, Brown remained a key player for the Kings through the final season of his NHL career.
For Brown, having his number retired and getting a statue are great honors, but he is most proud of what the two Stanley Cup teams were able to accomplish.
"Having my number retired is something I never imagined and is a humbling honor," Brown told the official Kings website. "I am incredibly proud that I played for the LA Kings my entire career. With my number going to the rafters, I am honored to be amongst the King Greats, but it makes me think of the two banners already in the rafters, of which I am most proud.
"It took numerous people to raise those two banners; the same is true for this one. Thank you to all who have helped me achieve my dreams."
Brown retired at or near the top of every category in the Kings' franchise record books. Brown ranks sixth in goals scored (325), eighth in assists (387) and seventh in points (712).