Would You Take Dustin Penner Back?

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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  • 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?

  • smiliegirl15

    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.

  • Wax Man Riley

    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.

  • vetinari

    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.

  • vetinari

    Absolutely. We should try to get some term as well as value contracts will be essential when we make our run. Advanced stats love the guy, hes big, has hands, and can play in the top 6. You can call him lazy and all that but hes come back from adversity, and silenced all the critics in the past. Also has chemistry with hemsky, and is the same age.Hes a good teamate, leader, and loves edmonton. I would try for 1-2 mil for 5 years but idk if hed go for that.

  • The Soup Fascist

    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.

  • ubermiguel

    If Klefbom and Teubert become good or better NHL players you could make an argument.

    Right now all we know is we lost a big LW that is a hockey player, and we’re playing Eager as a result. No gain in toughness, big loss in potential productivity and skill.

    If Penner wants to come back cheap, it’s not like there are a lot of guys that are available that have his skill set to play opposite Eberle.

    Gagner benefited a lot from Penner on his wing.

  • ubermiguel

    “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.