Kings Easily Afford to Bring in Penner Thanks to Giant Prospect Pool
It seems that Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini was not bluffing when the said the price for Ales Hemsky would be Brayden Schenn. That stalemate never budged.
So Dean Lombardi went after another winger on the Edmonton Roster that he thought could help his team: Dustin Penner.
Penner is not flashy, not a dangler, not a finesse player like Ales Hemsky. But it is clear that neither Dean Lombardi nor Terry Murray thinks that is the type of player needed for long-term success in the NHL.
Just look at some of the Kings recent forward draft picks:
- 2010 2nd round: Tyler Toffoli – a Ryan Smyth type of goal scorer with better wheels
- 2009 1st round: Brayden Schenn – tremendous scoring ability, and a Mike Richards style at heart
- 2009 2nd round: Kyle Clifford – only smiles after he has finished making dents in opponents’ faces
- 2007 2nd round: Oscar Moller – has finesse but plays much bigger than his smallish size
- 2007 2nd round: Wayne Simmonds – as gritty a forward as there is in the NHL
So Penner, at 6’4″ 245 pounds (see above image where he dwarfs St. Louis defender Barret Jackman), provides even more toughness to an already gritty lineup. But he has mainly been brought in to help with the above-the-line stats on the score-sheet.
Penner scored 32 goals in 2009-2010 with the Oilers, and flirted with 30 in 2006-2007 with our Stanley Cup winning neighbor.
Los Angeles has been a place where many players go to put a valley their stats trends, especially veterans. But the fact that Penner has played out here before with success is certainly a bonus, and had to have been a factor in the acquisition.
The price was somewhat steep in giving up the Kings’ 1st round pick in this June’s draft as well as Colten Teubert and a conditional 3rd round pick in 2012.
Teubert is a significant loss, but he has been constantly surpassed on the depth chart due to injury and criticisms on his positional play. Drafted in the 1st round in 2008, (11 picks after Drew Doughty) he has finally spent some extended time with the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ AHL affiliate, this season, posting 2 goals and 10 points in 37 games. He was not drafted to be an offensive contributor, the fact that his name has hardly been mentioned among Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, Viatcheslav Voynov, and Thomas Hickey had to be concerning. It seems the time had come for the Kings to consider him expendable, and sell while his stock was still somewhat high.
The 1st round pick was the main chip in this deal for the Oilers. Players picked in the first round are, not surprisingly, the ones that have the most impact in the NHL.
As previously mentioned, however, the Kings are already stocked in prospects, and not just on defense. Brayden Schenn, Viatcheslav Voynov and Andrei Loktionov are players that the Kings will not be able to keep off the roster next year. Same goes for Tyler Toffoli the year after that. Brandon Kozun, Jordan Nolan, Nicolas Deslauriers, Maxim Kitsyn, and Derek Forbot have all been impressing at their respective levels as well.
Unless the Kings were able to draft the next Sidney Crosby or Steven Stamkos with their 1st round pick, it may have only made things more complicated to bring in another guy who would be on the bubble of making the squad for the next few years anyway. And with the pick hopefully being somewhere in the 20’s in a draft year that is being called ‘unimpressive’ by scouts, like Teubert, the pick became an expendable commodity.
It says something about where the Kings organization is when they are finally in a position to give up what they have coveted most in recent years. They are finally stepping out of the rebuilding mode into the next mode: WINNING.
Fans, our time has come.