Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series in which Insider Kevin Kurz will highlight a new Sharks player every day leading up to the start of NHL training camp
Name/Position: Mike Brown, right wing
Salary: $1.15 million
Contract status: Signed through 2015-16 ($1.2 million cap hit)
2013-14 year in review: After Raffi Torres and Adam Burish were added to the long term injured list before the season even began, the Sharks acquired Brown from Edmonton in October to add a little sandpaper to their lineup. He didn’t play every night, and struggled at times with some of the details of the Sharks' system early on, but late in the season and in the playoffs he found some chemistry and success as part of a gritty fourth line. Brown finished second on the Sharks with 75 penalty minutes to go with his two goals and three assists in 48 games with San Jose, and won the majority of his numerous fights with other NHL middleweights.
2014-15 outlook: Brown was a player that general manager Doug Wilson said he had targeted for some time before securing him from the Oilers for a fourth round pick, so it wasn’t surprising when the five-foot-11, 202-pound pending unrestricted free agent signed a two-year contract extension on June 17.
[REWIND: Sharks re-sign Brown]
It’s unlikely Brown will play on a nightly basis, but he’ll probably be in more often than not as Sharks believe he will deter opponents from taking liberties against some of their younger players. Although Brown is often maligned by some advanced stats gurus, and it’s true that he has poor possession numbers, the winger showed in the first few games of the first round against Los Angeles that he has the ability to get under the skin of opposing players. That, combined with his willingness to drop the gloves when necessary and ability to lay a big hit, makes Brown one of those guys that the opposition hates to face. In other words, if you’re judging Brown based solely on his stat line, you need to dig a little deeper.
Brown is a popular guy with his teammates, and several of them made it known that they were pumped to have him back in the fold for the next two seasons. For a club that is trying to rehab the dynamic in its dressing room, that’s important.
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