Would You Take Dustin Penner Back?

Jonathan Willis
March 06 2012 10:17AM

Dustin Penner is having a horrible season with the Los Angeles Kings. Five goals and 13 points in 48 games isn’t the sort of production Dean Lombardi expected when he traded for him, and it isn’t going to earn Penner – in the final year of his contract – good dollars next season.

Should the Oilers try to sign him to a bargain contract?

Penner’s best season came during 2009-10, a trainwreck of a year for virtually everybody on the Oilers. With Ales Hemsky and Nikolai Khabibulin hurt, AHL-calibre ‘tenders in net and Ryan Potulny on the second line, there was a shortage of good news on the team. Dustin Penner’s 32 goals led the Oilers by a mile (nobody else got 20), as did his 63 points (Sam Gagner, with 41, was the only other player with more than 40), and he had a pretty good follow-up season before getting moved to Los Angeles.

There are some other positives. Penner’s still relatively young; he’s not yet 30. He’s a career 12.6% shooter, shooting at a 5.7% clip this year – in other words, his goal-scoring is likely to rebound. Additionally, issues in his personal life have been made public, issues that might have some bearing on his terrible season. That gives some reason to believe he could rebound next season.

On the other hand, a lot of fans didn’t like Penner even when he was the best offensive player in the lineup. Work ethic has always been something that fans and management have identified as an issue – he was Randy Carlyle’s whipping boy in Anaheim, Craig MacTavish had him on a special exercise regimen in Edmonton, and when Dean Lombardi wasn’t criticizing Jack Johnson he found time to toss Penner under the bus too.

Is the risk of getting an impact player on the cheap worthwhile? Or did you see enough the first time around?

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 TrentonL
March 06 2012, 12:36PM
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mayorpoop wrote:

your definition of reasonable is from 2yrs ago and better. why not go after Cheechoo he got 50 once. or how about Blake he got 40 once.

quality defensive? really? how is his year this year. remember when we all complained he was soft? or lazy? or slow?

let's move on from the recycle mode.

jeez already let's make like a grown up team and make decisions to win.

You don't think he is quality defensively? Why not? With Penner on the ice SF/SA is 29.2/24.7 with Penner off the ice the Kings are at 27.8/25.1.

So they shoot more at the opponents net and take fewer shots against when he is on the ice. Sounds like a bad defensive/lazy player to me.

Yeah he is soft...in the 4 seasons he played for Edmonton he ranked 2nd, 4th, 8th, and 4th in hits by forwards....you are right.

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#52 Fresh Mess
March 06 2012, 12:37PM
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The Oilers are incapable of giving out Value contracts.

A value contract for Penner would be a 2 way 1 million NHL/ 150 grand AHL deal.

Lowe/Tambo would probably give him 4 million per, and exclaim to the media that he took a pay cut to come back here.

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#53 Dman09
March 06 2012, 12:43PM
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TrentonL wrote:

You don't think he is quality defensively? Why not? With Penner on the ice SF/SA is 29.2/24.7 with Penner off the ice the Kings are at 27.8/25.1.

So they shoot more at the opponents net and take fewer shots against when he is on the ice. Sounds like a bad defensive/lazy player to me.

Yeah he is soft...in the 4 seasons he played for Edmonton he ranked 2nd, 4th, 8th, and 4th in hits by forwards....you are right.

I've always viewed hitting on a team as contagious, when people start hitting the majority of the team starts to follow. Also with Penner, you know what you're signing. If you want a guy that can physically take over a game then look else where but if you want a guy that can consistently move the puck up the ice and usually put up approx 50 point seasons then go for him. MPS doesn't hit guys either but you don't see people ragging on him the way Penner gets ragged on.

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#54 mayorpoop
March 06 2012, 12:44PM
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@TrentonL

such a marginal shots per game doesn't change my mind. we didn't get enough from here when we had him and we were quick to crucify him at that time.

i just don't get it.

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#55 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 06 2012, 12:45PM
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mayorpoop wrote:

your definition of reasonable is from 2yrs ago and better. why not go after Cheechoo he got 50 once. or how about Blake he got 40 once.

quality defensive? really? how is his year this year. remember when we all complained he was soft? or lazy? or slow?

let's move on from the recycle mode.

jeez already let's make like a grown up team and make decisions to win.

He needs to hit 20 this year to think it's resonable he hits 20 next year?

Ridiculous

Soft/lazy/slow doesn't mean poor defensively

This is a decision to win, using a prospect in that spot instead would be a decision to lose.

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#56 Bryzarro World
March 06 2012, 12:45PM
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PENNERCAKES!!!!!

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#57 Bryzarro World
March 06 2012, 12:46PM
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Or Pencakes!!

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#58 Oiler AL
March 06 2012, 12:50PM
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Tabilini's best ever deal was moving Penner to L.A. Penner is a big lazy, over weight slug. He could not keep up with the young guys on this team, his back checking is non exsistant, and he shows up every 8 games or so. This guy can hardly complete one shift, out of air making run for the players bench ASAP. He most always was slow and late on the play, arriving Tuesday afternoon [ on a Sunday game ].Yes he had 30 goals, most of his goals were on the PP, where he would park is wide butt and wait for pucks to bounce off his body. That what we have Smyth for. Can't believe all these posters wanting him back, makes me wonder what and how you watch games. You can bet.. L A wont be signing him He will be in the Manitoba Beer League next year , where he belongss

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#59 DieHard
March 06 2012, 12:56PM
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I give it my blessing. ST , you may sign him. 1 year tryout (2M). Third line to start and may go up or down depending on his mood.

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#60 rindog
March 06 2012, 12:58PM
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Oiler AL wrote:

Tabilini's best ever deal was moving Penner to L.A. Penner is a big lazy, over weight slug. He could not keep up with the young guys on this team, his back checking is non exsistant, and he shows up every 8 games or so. This guy can hardly complete one shift, out of air making run for the players bench ASAP. He most always was slow and late on the play, arriving Tuesday afternoon [ on a Sunday game ].Yes he had 30 goals, most of his goals were on the PP, where he would park is wide butt and wait for pucks to bounce off his body. That what we have Smyth for. Can't believe all these posters wanting him back, makes me wonder what and how you watch games. You can bet.. L A wont be signing him He will be in the Manitoba Beer League next year , where he belongss

So we have resorted to criticizing the types of goals players score?

30 goals are 30 goals...

If he could be signed to $1.5 per season or less, I would support it.

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#61 Oilers21
March 06 2012, 12:59PM
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I advocated keeping him before he was traded, so I'd take him back on a value contract. His 2008/9 season was terrible but his 2009/10 season was a real bright spot for us; pretty comparable to a typical Rick Nash season, who everyone views as a massive superstar despite never breaking the 80-point mark, and only breaking 70 once. Look, I'm not saying the 2 players are equal, and obviously consistency is an issue for Penner, but if Nash is worth 7.5 million (his LOWEST salary until 2018!) and we can sign Penner for around $2 million/year, then I would say that's value for sure.

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#62 mayorpoop
March 06 2012, 01:01PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

for some unknown reason i am going to humour this conversation.

who do you replace him with?

for how long do you sign him? is he a vital part of your re-build? is Lomabardi dumb enough to trade for him twice?

what does he bring today that we need? what does he bring next year that we need?

AND for my part i already think we are making decision to lose and Penner has no part in that. poooooor management does.

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#63 D-Man
March 06 2012, 01:08PM
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Oilers21 wrote:

I advocated keeping him before he was traded, so I'd take him back on a value contract. His 2008/9 season was terrible but his 2009/10 season was a real bright spot for us; pretty comparable to a typical Rick Nash season, who everyone views as a massive superstar despite never breaking the 80-point mark, and only breaking 70 once. Look, I'm not saying the 2 players are equal, and obviously consistency is an issue for Penner, but if Nash is worth 7.5 million (his LOWEST salary until 2018!) and we can sign Penner for around $2 million/year, then I would say that's value for sure.

Penner at $2 million would mean that he'd be a 3rd/4th line player... He doesn't have the speed or the aggression to play that type of game... He's not capable of playing in our top six - he doesn't have the foot speed...

I'm surprised that there would be takers considering the effort (or lack there of) we've seen from Penner in L.A. and for most of the contract here in E-town...

I wouldn't consider looking at Penner... Heck - I'd rather go after Oli Joikinen if I had to choose...

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#64 Wll Colford
March 06 2012, 01:14PM
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I think his production numbers were fine for how much money we gave him. But watching him play was so frustrating. He just kind of glides around, doesn't back check worse than Hemskey, and just looks like he doesn't care. Now we have Smyth who I'd have on the roster over and above Penner any day of the week. Plus with Eager and Jones, we have bigger guys that play with some energy and heart.

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#65 rindog
March 06 2012, 01:15PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

My only question would be where to place him. If the Oilers draft a forward this year then we're all out of top 6 spots and I think Smyth gets the 3LW spot. And that ignores the possibility of actually playing Paajarvi in the NHL.

Draft a defenseman and I'd be open to the idea on a short and uber cheap deal.

I liked Penner, but spending 1 minute talking to Penner's agent on July 1 means 1 minute away from a defenseman's agent.

No forward drafted, defense taken care of, and on the cheap I'd do it.

I am thinking that Penner would slot in perfectly as a 3rd line winger (R or L) if he came cheap.

4-93-14 91-Grig-83 94-20-27 55-10-28 (until we can bury Horcoff somewhere and move lander to 3C and Belanger down to 4C)

Gagner and Omark (if he is worth anything) could be used (along with a draft pick/prospect) to acquire a top 2 defender (this mught be wishful thinking on my part?).

6-new D 5-15 25-58/44/24

Is that a horrible roster?

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#66 Evilas
March 06 2012, 01:18PM
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Penner RNH Eberle, Hall xx Hemsky (or Hartikainen and move Hall to C), Omark Lander PRV, Smyth Horcoff Eager

Gagner, Belanger, Jones included in deals for a top D-man/goalie

If you can sign Penner to a max $1.75/yr over 2 yrs.

This gives everyline size and therefore more room for the skilled guys and someone to knock in rebounds.

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#67 Zamboni Driver
March 06 2012, 01:22PM
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I was going to say "no offense", but everyone knows what that prefaces...

This is the single most moronic suggestion ever hatched.

Penner is going to be off spending his money in Ontario somewhere, nowhere near the NHL.

People in this City need to start giving their heads a collective shake.

There are...in fact....OTHER HOCKEY PLAYERS IN THE WORLD not just those who used to play here.

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#68 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 06 2012, 01:27PM
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mayorpoop wrote:

for some unknown reason i am going to humour this conversation.

who do you replace him with?

for how long do you sign him? is he a vital part of your re-build? is Lomabardi dumb enough to trade for him twice?

what does he bring today that we need? what does he bring next year that we need?

AND for my part i already think we are making decision to lose and Penner has no part in that. poooooor management does.

Are you asking who he replaces?

I count 3 wingers that are hands down better then Penner, 1 that is probably better and 1 that you could maybe make a case for.... so I don't think finding a spot for him would be too hard.

I'd sign him for prefferably 1 year, 2 years max.

What does he bring that we need? goals and solid defensive play....pretty simple answer.

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#69 edmonton Sux
March 06 2012, 01:28PM
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Why would he come back to your craptacular city ? Hilarious everybody here assumes its up to the oilers if they want him back. hahah.... last i remember free agent love to sign there ... errr wait.. have fun finishing last again.

Go Nucks !

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#70 mayorpoop
March 06 2012, 01:31PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

I was going to say "no offense", but everyone knows what that prefaces...

This is the single most moronic suggestion ever hatched.

Penner is going to be off spending his money in Ontario somewhere, nowhere near the NHL.

People in this City need to start giving their heads a collective shake.

There are...in fact....OTHER HOCKEY PLAYERS IN THE WORLD not just those who used to play here.

^^^THIS.

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#71 mayorpoop
March 06 2012, 01:34PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

yes goals. sure. you count 3 wingers but don't name any and what do we get for them and can we get rid of them?

he is neither a true bottom six player (see slow, lazy, soft) nor is he a true top six player (see also slow, lazy, soft).

yes we need more middling players.

i'm stunned by the defence of this idea. stunned.

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#72 mayorpoop
March 06 2012, 01:36PM
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@mayorpoop

sorry just want to make sure you understand there was direct implied sarcasm when i said the word GOALS and SURE.

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#73 The Soup Fascist
March 06 2012, 01:38PM
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edmonton Sux wrote:

Why would he come back to your craptacular city ? Hilarious everybody here assumes its up to the oilers if they want him back. hahah.... last i remember free agent love to sign there ... errr wait.. have fun finishing last again.

Go Nucks !

Damages to city after riot .... $50 million

Average jail term for rioters ..... 17 months

Number of dive artists, whiners and fart catchers on roster ......23

Number of delusional fans ......... infinite

2nd rate smack coming from a group of fans with ZERO cups in 40 plus years ....... priceless

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#74 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 06 2012, 01:41PM
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mayorpoop wrote:

yes goals. sure. you count 3 wingers but don't name any and what do we get for them and can we get rid of them?

he is neither a true bottom six player (see slow, lazy, soft) nor is he a true top six player (see also slow, lazy, soft).

yes we need more middling players.

i'm stunned by the defence of this idea. stunned.

What on earth are you talking about? It's like your posts are in code.

We've got 3 wingers better then Penner, 5 at most.

That means we've got 3-5 wingers that are worse then Penner.

Replace the inferior players with a superior player.

Pretty simple way to improve your team.

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#75 edmonton Sux
March 06 2012, 01:44PM
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haha oil fan, or should I say Islanders west, do anything relevant last 5 yrs ?

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#76 TrentonL
March 06 2012, 01:47PM
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@Oiler AL

Not sure what your definition of most is, but in his 32 goal season only 9 were on the PP. In his career 45g of 133g have been on the PP....also not most.

By comparison, Jordan Eberle this season so far has 29 goals, 9 of which have been scored on the PP. Hall has 12/23 on the PP. Guess we don't need those guys either because we have Smyth.

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#77 The Soup Fascist
March 06 2012, 01:48PM
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Just drafting future all-stars, polishing cups and watching 'Nucks choke as soon as a game means something.

Of course ...... I had help.

EDIT: I forgot to expand, by "cups" I meant Stanley Cups, thought you may not catch the reference. You guys have a park by that name, which will have to suffice for the next few decades.

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#78 edmonton Sux
March 06 2012, 01:55PM
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Right so in other words nothing, polishing cups ? referring to your job at jersey city in West Ed I assume, its were most of you oil fans are employed right ?

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#79 The Soup Fascist
March 06 2012, 01:58PM
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Jersey city much better than the average Canucks fan selling 'shrooms and the chronic to hippies and teens on the corner. Go away, Troll. You have been fed too much today.

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#80 mayorpoop
March 06 2012, 02:08PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

you say "code" i say plain english.

who are the wingers? name them and tell me how we get rid of them and their contracts.

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#81 Muji 狗
March 06 2012, 02:16PM
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I like Penner. He's a funny guy. He handles the haterz with grace and humour (tho handling it with improved play would be better..).

For his sake, it'd be cool if the Ducks signed him on the cheap, reunited him with Getzlaf and Perry, and rejuvenated his career.

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#82 Marshall Law
March 06 2012, 02:17PM
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If he's dirt cheap and available, it would be nuts not to bring him back. There would be zero risk to signing him to a one year deal. His teammates love him and he would bring size to the top 6 (or 9, I guess). Oiler fans love to hate on him but there wasn't a more productive guy on the team during his tenure in Edmonton. He doesn't fit in LA. He's had reasonable success in Edmonton.

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#83 Jason
March 06 2012, 02:20PM
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It all comes down to the cost for me. If the price is right, then I think Penner could fit.

Hall / Nugent-Hopkins / Eberle

Paajarvi / Gagner / Hemsky

Smyth / Horcoff / Penner

Eager / Lander / Jones

... Or something along those lines. Paajarvi and Penner could likely be swapped back and forth too since both of them have had experience playing both RW and LW.

He brings a different element to the lineup than Linus Omark would. And he has shown he has the ability to score goals. If he was willing to sign for somewhere in the 2.0 - 2.5 million per season for a couple of years, I think I'd strongly consider it.

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#84 The Beaker
March 06 2012, 02:21PM
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edmonton Sux wrote:

Right so in other words nothing, polishing cups ? referring to your job at jersey city in West Ed I assume, its were most of you oil fans are employed right ?

Would you rather help your Uncle Jack off a horse or help your uncle jack off a horse?

betchu wish ye remembard grmmar frum skool ehh?

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#85 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 06 2012, 02:27PM
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mayorpoop wrote:

you say "code" i say plain english.

who are the wingers? name them and tell me how we get rid of them and their contracts.

Wow, should be pretty self explanatory.

Hall/Ebs/Hemsky hands down better

Smyth probably better

I guess you could make a case that Jones is better

That leaves Eager/Hordichuk/Petrell as inferior players

Hordi and Petrell's contracts expire at the end of this year

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#86 edmonton Sux
March 06 2012, 02:30PM
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@ The beaker

Haha oiler Douche, please dont make fun of my grammar I cant take it no more.

Or is it make fun off ? hhmmm

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#87 Starving Student
March 06 2012, 02:36PM
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I see Penner back in Anaheim.

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#88 Jason
March 06 2012, 02:38PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I'm not really going to make excuses for Penner. Instead I'm going to look at what he has accomplished.

- Stanley Cup winner

- 2 seasons removed from a 30G/60Pt campaign

- 4 seasons with 40+ points (out of 6 NHL seasons)

- Well liked in the dressing room (though maybe not with his coaches)

- Big body who is hard to move in front of the net

Is he an absolute need for the Oilers, like a Suter or Carle or some other defenseman? No. Would he be a good fit for the third line with Smyth and Horcoff? Yeah, potentially.

We took a gamble with Cam Barker this year, a 25-year-old D man with good pedigree who was falling out of favor all over the league. It cost us 2.5 million. It didn't work out, but I'm okay with them taking that gamble (provided they don't re-sign him this summer).

I'm also okay with them taking a gamble on a big winger who has shown an ability to score. If he would settle in the 2.0 - 2.5 million range, I think that's a good gamble. In any case, I think he'd have to be considered an upgrade on Lennart Petrell. Maybe Ryan Jones too.

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#89 Lochenzo
March 06 2012, 02:46PM
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How about bringing back Jarret Stoll? You always want a righty and a lefty for the faceoff circle. It would mean that we'd have to move a centre, but there's going to be some moving parts anyways if the Oilers are going to trade for a top 2 Dman.

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#90 Oiler AL
March 06 2012, 02:58PM
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@TrentonL

I'd sooner bring Stortini back, might be short on talent, but at least he has heart and is breathing. If Penner was such a great player, dont you think LA would have resigned him. They saw in a few weeks [ slow, lazy slug ] what took Oilers 3 years to realize., and now people want him back. His only hope is a place like Columbus at $1.5 per year .

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#91 TrentonL
March 06 2012, 03:10PM
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@Oiler AL

I shut you down about your Penner's PP goals comment and you come back with he is still lazy and slow and you would rather have Stortini back?

Good argument, well thought out.

If Penner is so lazy/useless why does the puck consistently go in the right direction when he is on the ice/why is his team better when he is on the ice than off it?

FYI, Edmonton once upon a time thought that Dan Cleary and Kirk Maltby were disposable players Detroit thought otherwise.....

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#92 Millertime
March 06 2012, 03:18PM
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Penner's breakout year was under Quinn where he started on the third line with Brule. (Quinn wanted crust on each line and for some players to play a rougher style then they are accustomed to, hence the injuries and the fall for HAll, but I digress). I see no reason why he would not excell in a third line role at third line dollars. He will exceed third line expectations. Would he come back?

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#93 Bucknuck
March 06 2012, 03:21PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

He won a cup playing on the third/fourth line in Anaheim, so why not again here. If he doesn't have those top 6 expectations placed on him he would probably be fine. With injuries the Oilers already know he could see spot duty in the top 6 if needed. Penner can be an effective player if he's not burdened with the expectations that accompanies a large contract. The Oilers created this mess by giving him a 20 mill over 5 yr deal. Oilersnation could solve alot of the Oiler issues....but it can't fix stoopyd.

I agree with you, Quick. If Penner has the right coach he is a good player. You do not get 32 goals and 60+ points if you are a bad player.

But, since he is unreliable and unmotivated he is a risk. At 2 million he is worth that risk.

If you get a 30 goal scorer or that then you are laughing all the way to the bank.

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#94 Beevbo
March 06 2012, 03:26PM
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Seen enough!!

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#95 smiliegirl15
March 06 2012, 03:49PM
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Too bad you can't have performance based bonuses. Honestly I think it would fix a lot of crappy players if they were paid based on their performance.

I think Penner with RNH and Eberle would be a good thing. Those two have good chemistry and Penner would compliment them. I like Hall with them but I think I like Hall with Hemsky better.

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#96 oilers1974
March 06 2012, 03:49PM
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edmonton Sux wrote:

haha oil fan, or should I say Islanders west, do anything relevant last 5 yrs ?

so you're having a little fun today making an idiot of yourself. fair enough. there is something you should understand though, and i wouldn't expect you to as i don't believe canuck fans are that knowledgeable when it comes to hockey, based on the fact that there is very little significant hockey history in vancouver. so I will go slow. and if any flames fans are reading this, pay attention. the nhl runs in cycles. teams are up, then teams are down. Again, teams are successful for a period of time, then they usually experience a downturn of some kind. That is why the draft system is the way it is. Are you following moron, or do i have to slow down.(i am also unsure of your reading comprehension abilities). save for the odd exception, this cycle basically hold true. in this particular cycle, vancouver is up, edmonton is down. do you think oiler fans do not realize vancouver has a better team today? does that make the success or non success of a team through history irrelevant? depends what you are measuring. i can look at the standings today and see who is good and who is not. because montreal today is a lottery team, does that mean they are not the most decorated successful team in nhl history. does there record today erase their proud heritage? my point is, canuck rioters always want to point to their team today and say how good they are. well done. you have a good team right now. until the canucks have won a cup (or five) you are still fans of a brutal franchise that has won nothing and historically has been a joke through most of its existance. as a franchise, calgary would rate higher. and neither vancouver or calgary can claim to have iced what many consider to be the greatest team of all time. i can't wait to watch your city burn again this spring. idiot.

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#97 Wäx Män Riley
March 06 2012, 04:13PM
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nunyour wrote:

don't we have enough slow lazy players?

who?

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#98 Oilcan
March 06 2012, 04:31PM
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I see no problem signing Penner to a 1year 2 mil contract or even a 2 year 2 mill contract. If he gets picks up his game his easily earns that money if he doesn't no risk and I am sure you could trade him at deadline or let him walk in the offseason.

Smyth Horcoff Penner could play as a veteran style 3rd line that can chip in some goals, he can play in front on the PP and if someone goes down he can slide up a line. We still don't have a LW to play with RNH and Eberle and I think Penner would slot in there better then anyone we have on the team right now besides Hall.

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#99 Smokey
March 06 2012, 04:43PM
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Id love to see him maybe in a top 9 role. With a semi motivated Penner on a non wheat drink, low pancake diet could provide secondary scoring. The puck was always going in the right direction when he wsa here. If he could play to the level he was at in 2010, when he was a plus player on a team of duds, I`m all for it.

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#100 Smokey
March 06 2012, 04:45PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

If you've got Penner signed cheap, you could stick him with Smyth and Horcoff on the the third line RW, and bump him up if his play warranted it.

Of course, there's a pretty decent chance that one of the top-9 will be leaving town for a defenseman.

It makes to much sense for the Oilers to consider such an idea.

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