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Lightning’s J.T. Brown claimed off waivers by Ducks

By Roger Mooney, Times Staff Writer
DIRK SHADD | Times J.T. Brown thanks the Lightning organization and fans in a social media post. "This is a world-class organization, and I loved playing here," he wrote.

Wing J.T. Brown is headed from the Lightning to the Ducks.

Anaheim claimed Brown off waivers by Sunday’s noon deadline. He was placed on waivers Saturday to create roster flexibility for calling up players from AHL Syracuse, general manager Steve Yzerman said.

Signed as a free agent in March 2012, Brown played 286 games with the Lightning, including a career-high 78 in 2015-16. He had 19 goals and 61 points while playing mostly on the fourth line.

RELATED: J.T. Brown raises fist in protest during anthem before Panthers game.

Brown, 27, played in just 24 of the Lightning’s 44 games this season and had one goal and three assists. He and Cory Conacher had alternated being healthy scratches when the Lightning went with 12 forwards.

Brown thanked the organization and fans in a post on social media.

"This is a world-class organization, and I loved playing here," he wrote.

Brown has made a significant impact off the ice. One of about 30 black players in the league, he became the first NHL player to perform a silent protest during the national anthem, raising his right fist while on the bench before the Oct. 7 game against the Panthers in Sunrise. He wanted to raise awareness of racial inequality and police brutality.

RELATED: J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement.

Brown has since done a lot of work with the Tampa Police Department, including going on ride-alongs and joining officers for trick-or-treating in Seminole Heights.

"This is an incredible community and one I feel lucky to have been a part of," he said.

Brown said he was excited about his opportunity with the Ducks, whom he was expected to join Sunday night in Denver. Coach Randy Carlyle said Brown could make his team debut Monday against the Avalanche.

"We’re not bringing him out there to sit in the stands," Carlyle said.

No Lightning callups were expected immediately with the team in the midst of a five-day bye week. Its next game is Thursday at home against Vegas.

Forwards Adam Erne, Alex Volkov and Matt Peca could be among those promoted in the near future.

RELATED: J Brown spends a day with Tampa police.