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 a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 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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#102 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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#103 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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#104 Gitagrip
March 06 2012, 04:49PM
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edmonton Sux wrote:

@ 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

Hey how close are you to your Grandma you sick nuck!

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#105 vetinari
March 06 2012, 04:56PM
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Big pass on Penner... put our money where we need it: 1.) two top 2/4 defencemen; 2.) quality (and consistent) starting goaltender; and, 3.) a new GM.

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#106 Gitagrip
March 06 2012, 05:00PM
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Penner fits Sather's definition of a reclamation project. Let Glen have him. The east coast air may clear his head.

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#107 Smokey
March 06 2012, 05:02PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

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

Just ignore them next time

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#108 steelymac
March 06 2012, 05:16PM
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book¡e wrote:

Maybe - I would want to know more about his impact on dressing room chemistry. If he is not particularly disruptive, then I would be happy to sign him.

He could start next year with a clean slate and something to prove. If he is cheap enough, then its not a big deal if he finds himself on the third line for most of the year.

I liked the Penner trade at the time, but I also really like Dustin Penner as a hockey player.

Great point.The mind set in the room has to change from a 29th place team to a contending team.I think this means its time for Hall and Ebs to lead this team and get away from the oldboys club aka Horc,Hemmer,Penner regime.

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#109 The Soup Fascist
March 06 2012, 05:34PM
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Smokey wrote:

Just ignore them next time

Thanks - figured that out after the 2nd post. Kinda like arguing with the crack-idled "the end is near" guy handing out flyers. Not very productive.

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#110 JackBauer
March 06 2012, 07:15PM
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John,

It disgusts me that a man of your writing skill would even ask such a stupid question.

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#111 Dave Lumley
March 06 2012, 08:17PM
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All for it on a budget contract. Third line minutes along with some power play time plunked in front of the net.

I would especially love the trade of the decade - Penner for Klefblom, Teubert, a second round pick and Penner. Rates right up there with the Thornton trade.

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#112 Kevin
March 06 2012, 08:56PM
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It's this kind of talk that will keep the Oilers a toilet bowl contender for years to come.......

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#113 Oilcruzer
March 07 2012, 08:15AM
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What does Penner bring that Jones or Petrell or Smyth don't?

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#114 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 07 2012, 08:23AM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

What does Penner bring that Jones or Petrell or Smyth don't?

He certainly brings a hell of a lot more then Petrell.

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#115 Smokey
March 07 2012, 11:36AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Thanks - figured that out after the 2nd post. Kinda like arguing with the crack-idled "the end is near" guy handing out flyers. Not very productive.

Im all for fans from other teams reading our site. I`m all for them posting, talking a bit of constructive trash in good taste. Once in while you get a guy making a garbage comment like today, hes ignored, and he never comes back.

I just don`t want this site becoming a garbage site. This is one of the best blogs out there, where people can say their peace, make constructive comments, and have a good read. Just want it to continue.

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#116 ubermiguel
March 07 2012, 05:40PM
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"Would You Take Dustin Penner Back?" No way. Great guy, hope he gets his game back, but the plan should be develop forwards from within. Seems like "value" players get signed when you're ready to contend.

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#117 Gangplank
March 07 2012, 06:03PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

What does Penner bring that Jones or Petrell or Smyth don't?

Skill, production and an ability to at least measure up in scoring chances and scoring against opposition's top lines.

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