May 25, 2015

Larry Brown

In February of 1971 the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers took it easy on their equipment managers when they completed a swap of defenseman. The Wings traded Larry Brown to the Rangers in exchange for Arnie Brown. The trainers were kept happy, just giving their respective new Brown the old Brown's jersey.

Mind you, names on jerseys were not mandatory until a few years later. Still, they just swapped number fours.

The trade was actually bigger than just Brown for Brown. The Rangers traded Arnie Brown, Tom Miller and Mike Robitaille for Bruce MacGregor and Larry Brown. The Rangers had actually traded Larry Brown to Detroit just four months prior, in exchange for Pete Stemkowski.

Larry was viewed as a sure thing. Teams knew exactly what to expect from him - solid, stay at home. defenseman with good size. Not much offense. Reliable depth blue liner game in and game out. A very clean player who would stay out of the penalty box.

He was exactly that throughout his junior career in Brandon, Manitoba, and he would prove to be exactly that through a 13 year professional career including 455 games in the National Hockey League.

It was with the Los Angeles Kings that Brown was best remembered for playing with. He joined the Kings for the 1972-73 season, picking him up for next to nothing as he lost nearly a year of hockey action due to a bad case of mononucleosis.

Brown would play six seasons in nearly absolute anonymity in Los Angeles. It took him three years to score his first goal. He only scored seven in his career, adding a nice 53 assists.

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