The Edmonton Oilers didn’t get their big bodied forward as of yet when free-agency opened on July 5th but there are still some options available if Craig MacTavish chooses to explore them. One of the more discussed names in the past couple of day is that of former Oiler, Dustin Penner and whether or not Edmonton should look at signing him and bringing him back to dawn the copper and blue.
MacTavish has said he wants to get bigger up front but he also said he wants to get tougher. Penner brings half of those attributes standing in at 6’4″ and registered at 242 pounds. That last stat could be of concern to head coach Dallas Eakins who demands top, physical fitness, something that Penner was a tad shy of the last go round with the Oilers.
But he’s not tough and could stand to use his size and strength to his advantage a little more. That being said, a mean streak would compliment his game quite nicely giving him a near full and complete package.
He has won two Stanley Cups over the course of his career so he has the experience when it comes to the playoffs. But Oilers’ fans have been down this road before with Penner and more importantly, so too has GM Craig MacTavish who was his coach from 2007-2010 before he was traded to Los Angeles.
By the end of his playing days in Edmonton, Penner had played his way out of Mac-T’s good books and many fans along with it.
Keep in mind though, this is a player who scored 93 goals over 304 games while wearing the Oil drop and that included a 32-goal campaign during the 2009-10 season. Even though he looked a step behind back then, he could put the puck in the net and was one of the few Oilers’ forwards who didn’t get pushed around.
His offensive stats have tailed off the last two years since, scoring just 9 combined goals over the last two seasons (98 games) bringing much doubt as to whether or not he has anything left to provide a hockey club. Granted he was used sparingly in Los Angeles, Penner would bring a needed element to the Oilers third line, should he agree on a deal that would bring him back to Alberta.
Of course it takes two to tango and there could be enough bitterness left in both Penner and MacTavish that neither would want to explore the notion of the Winkler, Manitoba native coming back to play for the Oilers. Then again, the need is there and Penner supplies the product, making this a potential juicy storyline if they should agree to get back together.
What’s your take on the whole Dustin Penner saga? Should the Oilers sign him as a free-agent and bring him back for one more go round? Take part in our daily poll and let’s see what the readers believe.
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