PDP: say it ain't so

Jason Gregor
October 18 2009 10:33AM

How many of you here in the Nation woke up today, looked at the point leaders in the league and did a double take? Dustin Penner on the first page... WTF?

No one and I mean no one; thought Dustin Penner would be the Oilers best, and most productive player seven games into the season. If you are still struggling getting a grasp on the NEW Penner, don’t fret you aren’t alone.

Penner’s nine points has him tied for 13th, and his five goals are top ten in the league. Not only is Penner scoring, he is killing penalties and is consistently moving his feet. Penner looks quicker, and while he is loathe to admit it, he’s in better shape.

It doesn’t hurt that Pat Quinn is his coach, and not Craig MacTavish, but I won’t lay all the blame on MacTavish for Penner’s underachieving last two seasons. Penner hasn’t been dedicated enough since signing his twenty-one million dollar deal, until this past summer.

Penner’s off-season conditioning program is paying off, but there’s more than just hard work happening here.

Penner was humiliated and embarrassed last season. Being the coach’s public whipping boy stung him, and I’m sure the Fat Penner references got to him. Penner is quick-witted, with a dry sense of humour, and likes to keep thing light-hearted, but it looks like he took all the pot shots to heart, and set out to prove people wrong.

Penner spent over a month of his summer working out and wondering if he’d be an Oiler or a Senator come September. Do you think that might have motivated him?

Regardless of what motivated him, Penner is living up to his contract so far this year.

First Mike Comrie comes back to Edmonton, and rather than hearing boos, he has his name chanted from the Rexall rowdies, and now Penner is winning over Oiler fans, who for the past two years would have traded him for a bag of pucks and 50 donairs.

Do you think it is possible that we hear chants of "Penn-er, Penn-er!" before the season is over?

If Comrie can win over the fans, why can’t Penner? Seven games won’t erase the memory of the past two seasons, but in sports “what have you done for me lately” reigns supreme, and it seems that many Oiler fans are teetering on the brink of becoming “Dusciples” of the “Pennecostal” church.

BRULE BUSTING OUT

While Penner continues to be the story in Oilerville, very quietly Gilbert Brule has gotten off to a great start. Four goals and seven points has the 6th overall pick in 2005 playing like a top ten pick.

Brule seems to have found the game that the Blue Jackets liked when they called his name four summers ago. He is hitting, using his speed to generate chances and most importantly he has re-discovered his offensive flair.

I said it all summer that Brule was better option than Marc Pouliot as the 4th line center, because Brule plays with the edge necessary to be part of an energy unit. I didn’t think he’d find is offensive game so quickly, in fact, I wasn’t sure if he’d ever find it again.

It is very early to suggest that Brule will come close to producing like this all season, but Quinn loves how he plays, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finding ways to use Brule even more.

Considering that Brule, Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner all need new contracts at the end of the season, I can’t see how all three of them stay in Edmonton. One of them will be moved. Who would you move? From where I sit it seems likely that one of them will be moved, but I wonder if the organization would allow Steve Tambellini to trade Sam Gagner?

WIN OILERS TICKETS

Currently on Just A Game we are running a contest where the winner wins a pair of Oiler tickets to see the Red Wings Oct 29th, the Sharks Nov 27th and the Predators on Dec 17th. One winner, three Oiler games.

A few weeks ago I came across this article on Spike.com showcasing the ten most annoying sports fans.

What we are looking for is the three most annoying hockey fans. In a short paragraph for each team, submit why they annoy you. Be witty, cut deeply, display your annoyance with words, but it has to be readable on air. Sir Brownlee, I and Dan Barnes are the final judges. Deadline is Wednesday at 6 p.m. Submit your entry to justagame@theteam1260.com. Good luck. Winner will be announced on air on Thursday.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#1 hamslice
October 18 2009, 10:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

first

Avatar
#2 CurtisS
October 18 2009, 10:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hilarious that no one still is ready to admit that Mact was a huge part of Penner's underachieving.

Quick question Gregor Would you commit yourself to your job 100% if your boss was never happy with your preformance? Or would you do it only 80% and keep getting the pay check?

Penner had no chance last year on Mact's team. He was too busy on the 4 th line or sitting press box with Nilsson while Liam Reddox and Ethan Moreau were getting 1 st line time!

Avatar
#3 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 18 2009, 10:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

^^^^^^ im with stupid

Avatar
#4 Andrew B
October 18 2009, 11:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Undoubtedly its Cogliano thats leaving, it's a matter of process of elimination;

-The team will not trade Sam Gagner who is probably the face of this franchise, or if not, damn close to it. He is the direct result of dealing away Ryan Smyth.

-They will also not trade Brule because he brings physical intangibles the others do not. He also would likely come at a cheaper cap hit.

Avatar
#5 smiliegirl15
October 18 2009, 11:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I have been a Penner supporter since he came to Etown. MacT should have been bounced out of here a long time ago.

Avatar
#6 grempz
October 18 2009, 11:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Penner was a near jugernaught Friday night. I hope he can keep the work ethic up. Now if only some others can get the honky's off their backs.

Avatar
#7 TonyT
October 18 2009, 11:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I've always told my friends that Penner would be valuable in the playoffs (after watching his performance with Anaheim). Seeing him produce in the regular season (so far) is a bonus for me. Incidently, I was at the Flames game last week and the guys behind me were all over Penner with 2008 jokes about Penner not hitting; Penner does not hit!! Get over it, he does have sweet hands, especially for a big guy.

Avatar
#8 Tha Legion
October 18 2009, 11:11AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@grempz

solid observation grempz, have a promotion!! Mike Grier for prez

Avatar
#9 Archaeologuy
October 18 2009, 11:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I think last year JW pointed out that the Oilers scored more with the least amount of goals against when Penner was on the ice. Turns out those stats werent some strange abnormality, they were evidence that Penner had more to give (especially when a coach decided to let the guy play)

All three young centers need new contracts? How will the Oilers ever afford this? My solution is say goodbye to the likes of Nilsson, Staios, Pisani, and start thinking about how important guys like O'Sullivan are going to be when the Eberle's and MPS's are ready to take spots on the roster. (and im not saying that they will be as effective right away but how much better will Patty O be than another guy playing 2nd/3rd line minutes?)

Avatar
#10 Fro
October 18 2009, 11:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

That second goal Penner scored the other night is a goal I can gaurantee you he would not have socred last yr. He fought hard and pushed right through the defensman on the blue line to work his way to the net and pot that one. That would not have happened last yr. I dont care who's fault last yr was with Penner, if he continues to play like this I will get over it quickly.

Avatar
#11 Muji 狗
October 18 2009, 11:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Trade deadbeat mack-daddy, dump Nilsson, try to dump Staios, and re-sign all the kids. It's not like Cogs and Sam are in a position to demand anything more than $2.5M at this point in their careers anyway. They're good for their age, but not good NHLers (yet).

Avatar
#12 freeze
October 18 2009, 11:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Watch out oiler fans, you are going to be Pennertrated all season. Mark him down for 30 (goals not donairs).

Avatar
#13 freeze
October 18 2009, 11:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Andrew B wrote:

Undoubtedly its Cogliano thats leaving, it's a matter of process of elimination;

-The team will not trade Sam Gagner who is probably the face of this franchise, or if not, damn close to it. He is the direct result of dealing away Ryan Smyth.

-They will also not trade Brule because he brings physical intangibles the others do not. He also would likely come at a cheaper cap hit.

I'd have to agree, esp. since they already attempted to move Cogs. It's too bad since I like his game a lot.

I'd vote for keeping a young play-maker at this point given we seem to have some goal scoring prospects in the system. If the team stays realistic and can avoid handing out big contracts to the kids we will be all right over the next few years. I don't think G,C,B should get the money the gave 77 & 37. We need to stop paying for potential... of course the whole league needs to stop doing that too.

Avatar
#14 jake
October 18 2009, 11:50AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Fro wrote:

That second goal Penner scored the other night is a goal I can gaurantee you he would not have socred last yr. He fought hard and pushed right through the defensman on the blue line to work his way to the net and pot that one. That would not have happened last yr. I dont care who's fault last yr was with Penner, if he continues to play like this I will get over it quickly.

When he busted out of his zone with all that speed up the left side, I saw the 2 on his jersey and didn't realize it was Penner, seriously thought it was Jacques for a second, quel jets!!

Avatar
#15 6 ring circus
October 18 2009, 11:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I for one am happy that Penner is playing well and I to blame Mac T for the way he has played in the past.He would be hard pressed to score goals from the press box and sitting on the bench.Tambalini has his work cut out for him, he will have to make moves to get under the cap and sign players,It should be very interesting how it all shapes out.Why did K Lowe have to sign Horcoff to that contract.

Avatar
#16 Ogden Brother
October 18 2009, 12:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
CurtisS wrote:

Hilarious that no one still is ready to admit that Mact was a huge part of Penner's underachieving.

Quick question Gregor Would you commit yourself to your job 100% if your boss was never happy with your preformance? Or would you do it only 80% and keep getting the pay check?

Penner had no chance last year on Mact's team. He was too busy on the 4 th line or sitting press box with Nilsson while Liam Reddox and Ethan Moreau were getting 1 st line time!

I'm pretty confident that Penner forced himself into the dog house. MacT should shoulder some of the blame for Penner's season, but alot of it needs to be put on Penner's shoulders too.

Avatar
#17 CurtisS
October 18 2009, 12:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Ogden Brother

How so?

Mact and the media called out Penner before he even played a game for the Oilers?

Thats Penners fault for winning a cup and celebrating a summer instead of putting in 5 months of training in like the oilers vet's that hadnt made the playoffs?

Just curious?

Avatar
#18 Lofty
October 18 2009, 12:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
smiliegirl15 wrote:

I have been a Penner supporter since he came to Etown. MacT should have been bounced out of here a long time ago.

I dont know how anyone could be a Penner supporter over the last 2 years. He didnt play well and didnt earn his pay, now he is. I like how he has changed his game and hope he can keep it up.

Avatar
#19 Ogden Brothers
October 18 2009, 12:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
CurtisS wrote:

How so?

Mact and the media called out Penner before he even played a game for the Oilers?

Thats Penners fault for winning a cup and celebrating a summer instead of putting in 5 months of training in like the oilers vet's that hadnt made the playoffs?

Just curious?

I'd like to see some proof to that.

Avatar
#20 Reggie
October 18 2009, 12:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Here's what I noticed in the stats as well. Ryan Smith 10 pts (cap hit $6.25M). Penner 9 pts (cap hit $4.25M).

Penner is not playing with a top center like Kopitar 12 pts (cap hit $6.8M).

The Kings played one more game than the Oilers.

Avatar
#21 Hemmertime
October 18 2009, 12:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

My buddy and I discussed this last night, no matter how good Penner does in Edmonton over the next 2 years I think hes gone. I don't think he will forget the last 2 years of being called Fat, hes gonna sign elsewhere. So lets hope for a decent 2 seasons out of him.

Avatar
#22 CurtisS
October 18 2009, 12:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Ogden Brothers wrote:

I'd like to see some proof to that.

Some proof of what?

You want me to do all your work, no thanks.

You still havent given me one reason why its should be shouldered mostly on Penner.

Avatar
#23 Ogden Brother
October 18 2009, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
CurtisS wrote:

Some proof of what?

You want me to do all your work, no thanks.

You still havent given me one reason why its should be shouldered mostly on Penner.

Proof that MacT "called Penner out" before he played a game with the Oil.

All my work? you're the one claiming MacT called him out before he even played a game for the Oil. That simply isn't true.

Avatar
#24 Bill
October 18 2009, 01:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Well I have been a Penner supporter since I first watched him in Oiler silks. He is not fast, he doesn't play to his size which I would like to see, but while everyone was bashing him for being lazy and fat he scored 23 goals his first year and last with almost no ice time on the 3rd or 4th line he scored 17. Listen up, Penners hands are gold around the net. Even not trying he scores 20 goals. Get the big guy motivated and he will top the 29 he scored in his first full year.

Avatar
#25 MrOiler
October 18 2009, 01:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

After Friday's game, I as on NHL.com and was shocked by this stat:

D. Penner was tied for 2nd place in the league with 8 EVS points. Only A. Ovechkin had more (10 pts.).

2nd in even strength points? This is the real Penner folks. There's no PP freebies in his stats.

All I can say it WOW!

Avatar
#26 Hax
October 18 2009, 01:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If it were up too me I would trade Gagner. He is a god player but I think Cogs brings more to the table besides face offs. He produce's more with less ice time and no PP. Brule has the grit we need and will come at a cheaper cap hit. Gagner would also have a better trade value as well. On a side note how does a kid like Eberle come in as the fittest oiler over guys that have the money and means to train all summer?

Avatar
#27 CurtisS
October 18 2009, 01:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Ogden Brother wrote:

Proof that MacT "called Penner out" before he played a game with the Oil.

All my work? you're the one claiming MacT called him out before he even played a game for the Oil. That simply isn't true.

Here

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/sports/story.html?id=c3397dd2-5ce6-4fec-8371-5feefb9adc82&k=75656

Avatar
#28 No Clue
October 18 2009, 01:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Hax Because he is a kid.

Avatar
#29 BigE57
October 18 2009, 01:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Penner's been great, particularly considering hasn't been playing with the BIG 2 Horcoff and Hemsky.

I hope he can keep it up through 82 games.

Avatar
#30 BigE57
October 18 2009, 01:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Hax wrote:

If it were up too me I would trade Gagner. He is a god player but I think Cogs brings more to the table besides face offs. He produce's more with less ice time and no PP. Brule has the grit we need and will come at a cheaper cap hit. Gagner would also have a better trade value as well. On a side note how does a kid like Eberle come in as the fittest oiler over guys that have the money and means to train all summer?

Do you think Eberle hangs out in front of 7-11 all summer long dringing slurpees?

Avatar
#31 hoss
October 18 2009, 01:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Though the season is young and there are many things that could happen between now andthe oil winning the cup in the spring, I will have some sweet bragging rights if penner continues this play. I picked him as my star!

Avatar
#32 hoss
October 18 2009, 01:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Though the season is young and there are many things that could happen between now andthe oil winning the cup in the spring, I will have some sweet bragging rights if penner continues this play. I picked him as my star!

Avatar
#33 Ogden Brother
October 18 2009, 01:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
CurtisS wrote:

Here

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/sports/story.html?id=c3397dd2-5ce6-4fec-8371-5feefb9adc82&k=75656

Sorry, but I've got to slip into troll mode here.

Hahahahahaha, that is your proof? ~Ya MacT was really "mean" to Penner in that article, how could we ever expect him to play hard after those harsh words to the media~.

Avatar
#34 oil dude
October 18 2009, 01:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hey Gregor, How come you asked if the org would allow Tambo to trade Gagner? Are you implying that Tambo wants to trade him or are you implying that he's untouchable? Answers man, answers!

Avatar
#35 oilfan6
October 18 2009, 02:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Muji 狗 wrote:

Trade deadbeat mack-daddy, dump Nilsson, try to dump Staios, and re-sign all the kids. It's not like Cogs and Sam are in a position to demand anything more than $2.5M at this point in their careers anyway. They're good for their age, but not good NHLers (yet).

agreed but dump nilsson staios and pisani and pouliot. sign gagner to 2.5 cogs 2 comrie 2 brule 1 JFJ .925 stone .900 reddox .515 grebeshkov 3.150 peckham .600 JDD 1 dubnyk and were under the current cap by 1,233

Avatar
#36 Hax
October 18 2009, 02:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@BigE57

I'm not saying that Eberle isn't working his butt off. I was just surprised that he would bet out guys like Cogs, Brule and Gagner. You know guys who should be in their physical prime.

Avatar
#37 Alon
October 18 2009, 02:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Lofty

Because every thing other than MacT's anti-Penner propaganda showed that Penner was a much better player then anyone was willing to give him credit for

Avatar
#38 kingsblade
October 18 2009, 02:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
CurtisS wrote:

Here

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/sports/story.html?id=c3397dd2-5ce6-4fec-8371-5feefb9adc82&k=75656

How does an article a month into the season prove that he was called out before ever playing a game? He had played plenty of games at that point.

Avatar
#39 kingsblade
October 18 2009, 02:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Reggie wrote:

Here's what I noticed in the stats as well. Ryan Smith 10 pts (cap hit $6.25M). Penner 9 pts (cap hit $4.25M).

Penner is not playing with a top center like Kopitar 12 pts (cap hit $6.8M).

The Kings played one more game than the Oilers.

Speaking of paying for potential...

Avatar
#41 jeanshorts
October 18 2009, 02:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
CurtisS wrote:

Here

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/sports/story.html?id=c3397dd2-5ce6-4fec-8371-5feefb9adc82&k=75656

Uhhh, that was 14 games into the season. Not before. Just saying.

And I'm pretty sure MacT had the same thoughts on Penner the rest of us did when he first showed up. Here's a guy with size that can score goals, so we've gotten ourselves a sweet power forward. But when he showed up and played like he was Gagner's size a lot of people were pretty miffed.

Clearly MacT didn't handle the situation as well as he should have, but I think a lot of it came out of sheer frustration. Here's a kid who has all this size and potential, yet he was playing like he was just going through the motions to collect a pay cheque. And this is coming from a guy who has been willing to give Penner the benefit of the doubt since day one, and was riding the fire MacT bandwagon before it became popular.

Avatar
#46 wazy08
October 18 2009, 03:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hey Gregor I just sent in my most annoying fans to the 1260. I hope you enjoy the poetic version of it. Haha. Cheers

Avatar
#47 kingsblade
October 18 2009, 03:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@CurtisS

Had enough yet?

Avatar
#48 Lofty
October 18 2009, 03:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Alon

no your wrong, he was not a very good player over the last 2 years... now he is.

Avatar
#49 jt in Oilertown
October 18 2009, 04:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

“Dusciples”? “Pennecostal”??

Has John Sexsmith taken over Gregor's account?

Avatar
#50 Alon
October 18 2009, 04:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Lofty

Says you, but what evidence can you provide to support that claim?

Did Penner play to the best of his abilities? No, and we are seeing that now. But even for the last 2 years Penner was better then he looked, and the drop off in Horcoff's and Hemsky's ppg production (around 30 points/year or 0.35 ppg) when they werent playing with him, only serves to prove that.

Comments are closed for this article.