Patrick Brown called playing in the NHL "the best job in the world."
It can be crazy, too.
In a span of five days, he'll have felt both of the extremes.
Brown had gone all the way through the Golden Knights' training camp before being one of the club's final cuts. Vegas placed him on waivers Sunday for the purpose of sending him to its AHL affiliate. But the Flyers claimed him off of waivers Monday. He gathered his necessities and flew to Philadelphia Tuesday. He met everyone Wednesday and had film work with the Flyers' assistant coaches. He'll practice Thursday and be in the Flyers' lineup Friday as the season-opening festivities commence at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia, meet Patrick Brown.
Patrick Brown and family, meet Philadelphia.
"I got the call from [Golden Knights general manager] Kelly McCrimmon in Vegas, he let me know I had been claimed," Brown said Wednesday in a Zoom interview from his hotel room. "A couple minutes later, I got calls from Philly letting me know, congratulating me, welcoming me to the team. Booked my flights, packed my stuff, my wife's stuff, my kid's stuff and we flew to Philly. We're ready to go."
The 29-year-old will slide onto the Flyers' fourth line with Nate Thompson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Brown, a natural center with 33 games of NHL experience, said he's comfortable playing all three forward positions and that taking faceoffs is one of his strengths.
"Gritty, hard-nosed, high energy," Brown said of his game. "I'm willing to go to the dirty areas, play in the blue paint. I like to forecheck hard, get a bump on the D-men, get the puck back, try to create some offense and hopefully not spend too much time in our own zone. I'm just looking to bring some energy to the team."
Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said he remembered coaching against Brown for a few games in the past. Turns out, while with the Hurricanes in March 2016, Brown recorded his first career NHL goal and point in a game against Vigneault's Rangers. Current Flyers Kevin Hayes, Derick Brassard and Keith Yandle were all in the lineup for New York. Brown finished with a two-point night.
"Hard-working young man, keeps his game simple — north-south, plays the body when he has the opportunity," Vigneault said Tuesday. "I hear that he's a great teammate and should fit in real well with our group."
Brown and Hayes played four years together at Boston College. Brown said Hayes and many of his new teammates reached out to him before his arrival.
"It was really nice and welcoming," Brown said. "Seems like a great group they've got here."
From the phone calls to the flights and a practice, he'll have the truest of introductions on opening night.
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