It appears reports of Dustin Brown signing in the KHL were premature.
Just two days after Vityaz Chekhov GM Alexei Zhamnov said he was close to a deal with the Kings captain, Brown flipped the script by agreeing to terms with Zurich of the Swiss National League A.
News of the Zurich signing was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Brown, 27, will join a Lions club with some familiar faces — Marc Crawford, who coached Brown for two seasons in Los Angeles and Jeff Tambellini who, like Brown, was a first-round pick in 2003.
Brown and Tambellini also made their NHL debuts with the Kings in 2005-06.
The signing is a significant one for Zurich, the defending Swiss league champ that’s seen a number of rival clubs load up on locked-out NHLers. Brown is coming off a stellar Cup run with the Kings, pacing the team with 8G-12A-20PTS in 20 games en route to the first championship in franchise history.
In the opening round, he tied a playoff record by scoring two shorthanded goals in a Game 2 victory over the Canucks.
With the move, Brown becomes just the fourth King to sign overseas during the work stoppage. Anze Kopitar signed in the Swedish second division, Alec Martinez joined TPS of the Finnish league and Jonathan Bernier inked with Heilbronner of the Germany’s tier two, the Bundesliga.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…