Wasn’t that awfully long ago when the Oilers dealt Dustin Penner. Actually, it was last year’s trade deadline that saw the thirty goal scorer for the Oilers (and twice twenty goal scorer) head to Los Angeles for a first round pick and Colten Teubert. It would be improper for me to omit the conditional pick that turns out to be a third rounder in this year’s draft.
To say that Penner’s landing in Los Angeles hasn’t been a soft one is quite the understatement. It couldn’t be much harder. Since arriving in Los Angeles a year ago, Penner has played in 66 regular season games. He’s only been able to score 19 points (7-12-19), racked up 37 penalty minutes, and is a minus 6.
He’s been scratched, he’s been demoted to the fourth line. He had an unforgettable incident with pancakes earlier in the year. Now, his private life is becoming very public. Things can’t go much worse for Dustin Penner.
Trade deadline has come and passed us. The Oilers swapped defencemen, and you can argue whether or not it made the team better. Dustin Penner remains twisting in the wind as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. Barring something wacky, he’ll be a UFA come July 1st.
Would a renaissance be in store for Penner if he found his way back onto the Edmonton Oilers roster?
TO THE NUMBERS
Before everyone comes running out of the woodwork with their pitchforks about how Penner’s fat, lazy, stupid, and doesn’t score very high on aptitude tests, consider this: Penner played nearly four seasons on four non-playoff Oilers clubs. Two of those clubs were dreadfully bad. On four not-so-good Oilers clubs, Penner twice scored twenty goals, and once scored thirty. He was three shy of 20 in the fourth season. In just under four seasons of play, he netted 93 goals. Coincedentally, he also had 93 assists. That’s 186 points in 304 games of play, or .61 points per game. As a second or third line winger, that’s pretty damn good. If Penner is open to a reasonable contract, why wouldn’t you at least inquire about his services?
What might the lines look like next year with Penner back in the fold?
Hall – Nugent Hopkins – Eberle
Paajarvi – Gagner – Hemsky
Penner- Horcoff – Smyth
Eager – Lander – Jones
Or something like this. Penner on the third line.
Is anyone going to lose any sleep if Hordichuk isn’t brought back? That’s a pretty good upgrade if I’ve ever seen one. Penner is a real NHL player with real NHL results on some really, really awful teams.
If there are no takers on July 1st, and media can promise to not try and run him off this time, shoot for it. Couple of years, couple of million each. Go on, make it a performance enhanced deal, make the guy reach. In three full seasons, Penner missed *four* games total. If he can come with 20 goals and 40 points on the third line, why wouldn’t you do it?
If the price is right, would you bring him back?
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