Dustin Penner: On the trade market again

Photo: Sidmeister78/Wikimedia

It looks like once again Dustin Penner has fallen into disfavor. The 6’4” winger has played in just four of Los Angeles’ 11 games this season, and his name is starting to crop up in trade rumours.

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From Elliotte Friedman’s always excellent “30 Thoughts” column on Monday, after asking which players might be available via trade:

Another player of interest is Dustin Penner. He’s really in the doghouse with just three games played [note: Penner played Monday night]. If the Kings so desired, there would certainly be a market. He’s on a one-year deal. Hard to pin down many more names. Some teams don’t want to deal excess players because depth is critical. Very few teams are out of it, which prevents fire sales, and with the cap going down to $64.3 million US in 2013-14, you don’t want to add a big salary if you can avoid it. Maybe things loosen up in the next week or so.

This is familiar territory for Penner, who was in this same position a year ago – a frequent healthy scratch, struggling to work his way back into his coach’s good books. Darryl Sutter challenged him to “work his ass off” at the time and Penner responded well, becoming an important support player for the Kings in the playoffs, and ultimately winning a Stanley Cup with the team and earning a new contract – a one-year, $3.25 million deal.

Penner has responded with good humour, and says he’s in a better situation now than he was a year ago:

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It’s fine. It’s not something I’m seeking counseling about… I’m in a good place professionally, mentally and emotionally. It’s a lot easier to take this now than it was last year.

Will somebody take a chance on him? Penner’s generally a better player than he gets credit for even when he isn’t scoring, he has size (listed at 6’4”, 242lbs), he’s on a short-term deal, but more important than all that is this: he’s one of the very few guys who might be able to positively impact a team without requiring a massive return to land him.

Should the Oilers take a chance on him? I think the question is probably academic – I’m guessing that ship has long since sailed.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • Phixieus666

    I wouldn’t give up Peckham just yet and I do think there maybe a place on the oilers for Penner. The real quesiton is who gets moved out for him. Think of this.

    Hall, RNH, Eberle

    Hemsky, Gags, Yakupov

    Penner, Horcoff, Petrell

    MPS, Lander/Belanger, Harti

    That kind of bottom six setup looks like one 3rd line and a line that could be 2nd/3rd line depending on who you place where.

  • Bushed

    @ Todd


    Unless there are better options out there, where else are we going to get a proven net front presence who also sticks up for teammates? Especially at a discount?

  • Zamboni Driver

    Uh huh.

    And what did we buy him for in the first place?

    Anyone who has even thought for a second about bringing back Penner needs to watch more hockey.

    There are, in fact, ‘hockey players’ out there who have never played for the Oilers. Hard to fathom, I know. But it’s true.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Good god.

    let me see if I’m following.

    A team that is three points BEHIND the Oilers – a team barely scraping by right now. Has a guy who they don’t want to play – can’t make it in the line up.

    The Oilers should bring this guy in and put him on the second line.

    This is some serious brilliance.

    Willis this is your fault.

  • Zamboni Driver

    The division among the citizens continues over Penner. And Gagne, Hemsky, Horcoff and now Smyth. It probably won’t end. Some citizens fall in love with certain players and the love continues even when the player is in decline or no longer fits the roster’s required balance.

    In considering adding Penner to the roster, what hasn’t been mentioned is continuing injuries in the truncated 48-game schedule. There will be more to come. And how many big bodies are on the present roster? Not enough.

    Probably the main problem, which has been mentioned, is making a deal with Lombardi. Don’t think Tambi has much cred among his GM peers.

  • OK we get it Zamboni. You hate Penner. I’m sure you did when he was here as well. Fine but you don’t have to make it sound like your opinion is fact. Its not.

    Don’t you think we could use a bit of this:



    OR this


    Watch those clips and tell me who on the Oilers does this now… Maybe you despise Penner from the depth of you soul but he would give us something we desperately need. Fine if not him, someone. We need a huge body who can play with the skilled players (Eager can’t) and is tough and ready to respond (Eager doesn’t).

    My favorite part about these 3 clips is how there is absolutely zero hesitation. Penner jumps all 3 guys. When was the last time we saw Eager or any Oiler jump a player in response to our of our kids getting smashed.

    Given our soft as butter perimeter play and the kids getting pushed around I’d take a shot in the arm right now. If he could be got for dirt cheap with a few months on a contract, there is virtually zero risk.

    • Zamboni Driver

      I actually agree with every single thing you said, except for the idea that Dustin Penner (sitting in the press box again for the Kings) is that guy now.

      I’m all for no more smurfs or lunkheads that can’t play (Hordichuk, Macintyre, Laraque), but to paraphrase my ole pal Spec, “If Penner is the answer. It must be a pretty crappy question.”

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    Penner was atrocious outside of a few games. so lazy, so unmotivated, slow footed, didnt want to pay the price destroying in the slot with his monster body (aka neo-Tim Kerr), out of shape, goofball attitude that is funny for media but doesnt translate well to taking the game seriously on the ice.

    he was beyond frustrating and its obvious that LAK is finding the same frustrations. he was damn lucky he had a decent playoff last season (17p in 65 regular season games) and then he goes straight back into being a burden.

    having his size advantages, but the inability to dominate in areas with a laughable “man against boys” showing, is a failure on his part.

    we already have numerous old players who cant keep up with the play well. don’t need another.

    ps – posting a couple youtube videos (above) is a terrible form of argument for “evidence”. youre showing 1:10 game type events.

  • @Death Metal. Provide evidence of this suckery you speak of? I realize he is polarizing because he looks slow, and maybe was lazy at times. Its hard to deny a few things. Here is more than ‘a few youtube clips’

    Last season, Penner became only the second man in Oilers’ history to lead the team in Goals, Assists, Points, and +/- in a single season (we all know who the other guy was).

    If you want to read a few pages and charts of advanced stats look here:


    Those stats, much more than a few youtube clips conclude that: “The statistics used in the first three parts of this brief lead to one indisputable fact: the Edmonton Oilers are a stunningly better team when Dustin Penner steps onto the ice with the first line.”

    But the haters just talk about how he could have done more, was too slow and ate too many pancakes.

  • Word to the Bird

    For the right price (a low one) yes. He could be our 13th forward and could be a very nice addition to our already potent powerplay. However, is Lombardi willing to swallow his pride and trade Penner back for something less? I’d say he could replace Petrell but I don’t think he’d do a very good job on the PK, at least compared to Petrell

  • Phixieus666

    I liked Penner once I got over the ‘hitting’ expectations. I think his play in the defensive zone was under appreciated and I’ve seen lots of big guys that apparently skate with no effort, or slow but but yet cover a lot of ice in a short period of time.

    My vote is to grab him if you can get him at a reasonable price . . . plus it gives ON someone else to rag on besides Horcoff and Gagner.

  • My theory is that the reason the Oilers end up with so many shorter players is that they tend to look like they are skating harder because they have to really pump those little legs to get anywhere. Management, and apparently many Oiler fans alike, appreciate the appearance of effort more than actual results.

  • Sammywas a big boy and all you so called experts use to say nasty remarks about his skating. I think with a little prod or two Pen would fit.It,s tough to play for a Sutter Ralph is a complete different personallity I,m sure he,d fit.Never mind Mac T he,s not the boss yet

  • Zamboni Driver

    One more comment Power play Pen in front harrasing the d-men and screening with RNH and Eb driving hard it would work wonders think about it people and maybe Hall and number 19 on the points How about some comments guys

  • Gret99zky

    Yup, trade for Dustin Penner.

    And while we’re at it let’s raise property taxes 10%, implement a citywide dress code, and reduce the Whitemud to one lane.

    That’s progress.