Monday

Dave Brown

Dave Brown is considered by many to be one of hockey's all time greatest fighters.

"When he punched you, it hurt." said penalty minute king Tiger Williams of Brown. Tiger, who fought as much as anyone as his almost 4000 career penalty minutes will attest, fell short of naming the toughest guy he ever faced. But Williams had high praise for Terry O'Reilly, Dave Semenko and Dave Brown.

Lots of people have lots of respect for the 6'5" 220lb Brown, who is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Brownie was an honest player who intimidated the opposition in order to keep them honest. No one would take liberties on one of Brown's teammates because if they did, they knew they would have to face the justice of Dave Brown.

So feared was Brown, he didn't even have to drop the gloves on many occasions. While playing with the San Jose Sharks, Dody Wood recalls an incident when Edmonton tough guy Louie Debrusk was causing some after-the-whistle commotion in the corner of the rink.

"(With his reputation) he just has to talk to (another player) and they're scared. Brownie just tapped him on the shoulder," Wood recalls, "and said, 'Louie, what are you doin'?'"

Debrusk simply skated away. Problem solved. Dave Brown's job was done. People feared Brown. More importantly, people respected him.

While Dave's only true on ice contribution was in terms of such intimidation, he was a valuable player. There is no way to measure such a contribution, nor his other contributions, mainly things such as leadership. About the only way to realize his value is to look at the fact that he played in the NHL for more than a decade, mostly with the same team. Given his lack of measurable contributions such as goals and assists, that tells us that Dave Brown was a valuable commodity.

An example of his leadership was how hard he practiced. He rarely got to actually play more than a couple of minutes in many games, but he spent hours working on his limited skating and puck skills. He was always there to help a teammate work on a drill. He also helped to develop a great camaraderie in the dressing room, as he was a very popular teammate.

Brown played in 729 games, mostly with the Philadelphia Flyers. He also played 2 1/2 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers where he was part of the 1990 Stanley Cup Championship. He spent his final season (1995-96) with the expansion San Jose Sharks. He scored 45 career goals while adding 52 assists for 97 points. And in the most telling stat of all, he spent 1789 minutes in the penalty box.

5 comments:

Anonymous,  1:19 PM  

Dave Brown will always be remembered for his orange and black fisticuffs with the Flyers, but he was able to tip in a few power play goals in the absence of Tim Kerr.

JKidd 12:44 PM  

An animal. A left handed version of Joey Kocur, with a longer reach and a temperament of a badger that just got evicted. Brownie was, and still is, by far and away one of the nastiest men to ever lace up his blades. His epic battles with Jay Miller of the B's, are just that, epic.

He was a goon, but he did it to keep his job and keep his guys safe. He didn't care who he hit, or with what he hit guys with. Brownie was there to make sure his boys had room on the ice, and he did it like few others.

His days in Edmonton against the likes of the Flames and Nucks were things of beauty, and mayhem.

Imagine the PIM/suspension total he'd have in todays game.. its almost unfathomable.

Anonymous,  9:21 PM  

I am am from philly Dave Brown was my hero growing up! I still think back and laugh watching him chase Chris Nilon around the ice in that pre game braw in 1987. He was shirt less Nilon was scared to death

Anonymous,  8:59 PM  

Notice all the toughest of the tuff guys are from Saskatchewan!!!!

ernie williams,  8:23 AM  

i was lucky enough to get to know dave brown on a personal level as he married my best freinds sister.so naturally i got to go to all the games at home in philly.he truly loved the game of hockey and the fans of philly.he was blessed with a left hook that would devistate whom ever it hit.people would try to see how tuff he was outside the hockey rink at times when he would be out and about and challenge him but not one time would he ever fight. he would shrugg it off and walk away.he was in my book one of the best fighters af all time if not the best.most apponents didnt like him because they didnt have him on there team to protect them he was not a goon as some say he simly did his job and did it quite well and above all was one of the nicest guys i ever met. i thank you dave for the great memories i have from 25 yeras ago og getting to watch you play and to just get to fish with you or eat a meal and just hang out and talk. you are by far a great guy and all time best in my book. sincerely and old freind ernie

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