<
>

Brown off the market?

News of Dustin Brown's availability caused quite a stir Thursday night, but the frenzy turned out to be fleeting.

According to CBC's Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi informed fellow NHL execs Friday that their captain was not on the trading block.

Friedman floated the possibility that the Kings backtracked once the information leaked out -- the Rangers are one of several teams that were believed to have interest -- and may still be open to moving him.

One league source told ESPNNewYork.com that he doubted Brown was considered "untouchable," as the Kings' scoring woes have impacted the entire lineup.

Brown's availability, or lack thereof, could have a significant impact on the trade deadline's most compelling storyline -- that of Columbus and 27-year-old Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash.

Although a handful of teams were considered to be in the mix for the former first overall pick, the Rangers emerged as the front-runners over the past few days. LA essentially bowed out with their acquisition of Columbus' Jeff Carter, leaving New York out in front of Toronto and San Jose as potential landing spots for Nash.

But with Nash's steep price tag, Brown surfaced -- albeit briefly -- as a more cost-effective alternative.

The 27-year-old winger, who has 15 goals and 17 assists in 61 games for the Kings this season, has two years remaining on a six-year, $19.05 M deal that comes with an annual cap hit of $3.175 million as opposed to Nash's eight-year, $62.4 million ($7.8M AAV).