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What if the Coyotes had drafted Dustin Brown?

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As “What If?” week concludes we look how one small change could have changed the Coyotes.

Brown stands with Kings reps Photo by Elsa/Getty Images/NHLI

The first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft is ridiculous. Seventeen of the thirty players drafted were All-Stars at one point in their career, and many are still active seventeen years later.

In true Coyotes fashion, Arizona did not have a pick in the round that featured players when they could have gotten Jeff Carter, Brent Seabrook, or Loui Eriksson just to name a few. But one pick could have changed the Coyotes and a rivalry.

The then-Phoenix Coyotes would trade the 11th overall pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for Daymond Langkow. With that pick, the Flyers would draft Jeff Carter, and two spots later the Los Angeles Kings would draft Dustin Brown.

As a former captain of the Los Angeles Kings, it is easy for Coyotes fans to hate Dustin Brown. This wasn’t helped when he delivered a hit on defenseman Michal Rozsival that would knock the defenseman out of the series. He’s also had a few run-ins with Shane Doan, and the two captains fighting is symbolic of the Coyotes/Kings rivalry.

When I think of the Coyotes/Kings rivalry, what little there is, I rarely think of Anze Kopitar or Jonathon Quick. Brown is the face of that rivalry for myself and a lot of fans. If Brown was wearing Sedona Red I don’t see it having the same level of intensity.

Controversial hits and play notwithstanding, Brown is an effective hockey player. He is the type of player you hate when they aren’t on your team, He has had seven 20+ goal seasons and he captained his team to two Stanley Cups.

Coyotes fans would likely love to have a player like Brown, although probably not his contract. But after years of intense rivalry, it is hard to imagine him as anything other than a rival player.