Brown brings toughness, 'stache to T.O.

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

New fourth-line Leafs checker Mike Brown comes by his biker-style handlebar moustache quite honestly.

His linemate in Anaheim was the flamboyant George Parros, while Mike's father, Barry, is president of Chicago's most well-known Harley-Davidson dealership and sports classic silver ZZ Top whiskers.

"I was actually growing mine out all summer and just trimmed it," Brown said Wednesday as he hooked up with the Leafs for informal workouts at the MasterCard Centre. "But mine's not even close to my dad's."

The elder Brown joked that he has been working on his for the 32 years he has been a bike dealer, but stayed away from tattoos and ear rings "in case if I have look respectable in a hurry". Interestingly, he doesn't count his son as a customer.

"He grew up around motorcycles, but knows it's not in his best interests to ride one as a hockey player," Barry said from his office in suburban Chicago. "Bad things can happen and not always because the person riding the bike was at fault."

Years ago, Barry recalls that Mike and his brother Danny came home with a brochure for a learn-to-skate program at a local arena.

"They were great roller bladers as kids, really fast, and their mother signed them up to skate. The rest is history."

Mike was a middle-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2004 from the University of Michigan. He proved handy with his dukes and on the wing with Manitoba of the AHL and played two half-seasons with the Canucks before a trade to Anaheim. In his first full NHL season last year, he had six goals and 106 penalty minutes for the Ducks.

"Working my way up," Brown quipped.

Old boss Brian Burke wanted to toughen up the Leafs this season and acquired Brown as one of his first summer moves.

"I know the type of guy Brian is and he knows about me," Brown said. "If we're down or we need to spark some energy quick, it's good to get a big hit or a good fight.

"I played with George back there, I'll probably play with Colton Orr here. I play a hard-nosed game and kill some penalties."

He's also friends with ex-Ducks' Francois Beauchemin and Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

"Jiggy texted me as soon as I got here and said 'glad to have you', " Brown said.

"I've been treated well so far and this is a good place to play. Vancouver was really good, there's obviously little press in Anaheim, but it's good to be back in a hockey town with good fans."


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