Ever hear the one about a Dustin Brown-for-Milan Lucic trade?

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Know how they say the best trades are sometimes the ones you don’t make?

Well, in the annals of deals that never came to fruition, Los Angeles keeping Dustin Brown is one of the best.

The Kings captain has been a revelation this postseason, sitting third in playoff scoring (6G-5A-11PTS) and first in game-winning goals (two), shorthanded goals (two) and plus-minus (+9).

He’s been a physical menace, a leader by example and the team’s heart and soul.

Oh yeah, he was also on Boston’s radar at the deadline.

From CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty:

[Bruins GM] Peter Chiarelli had mentioned after the trade deadline that there was an additional winger the Bruins had been pursuing, but in the end he hadn’t been able to close the deal. Several sources indicated at the time that the 27-year-old Brown was the player that Chiarelli and the Bruins were shooting for.

But the price was deemed too step for a Kings team that was only exploring Brown’s value on the market.

At the time Los Angeles was struggling offensively and looked like they might be on the outside looking in when the playoffs started, so they were listening to potential message-sending deals for their talented hockey club.

The Kings also wanted Milan Lucic in exchange for Brown, and who can blame them?

The Bruins weren’t going to entertain a deal for a player so important to their success, and so vital to their overall style of play. Looking back in hindsight at Lucic’s 0-for-the-playoffs performance against the Washington Capitals — or the “Full Thornton” as my Boston Glove colleague Kevin Paul Dupont is fond of saying — perhaps some Bruins fans would have been ready to press down on the plunger to do the deal.

Whether Brown was actually available at the deadline is debatable. Kings executive Luc Robitaille said it wouldn’t have happened (“I don’t think in Dean’s world he was ever going to move Brown,”) but Brown confirms the talks were real (“Everybody in our room knew the possibility of me being traded.”)

One thing’s for certain — the Kings are glad they didn’t pull the trigger.