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Dustin Penner: He’s Not THAT Good

Yahoo`s Puck Daddy decided to dedicate more time than deserved to the lazy-sack-of-crap Dustin Penner, wondering why/when Penner is going to start producing for the Kings.

Ever since the Oilers delivered trucks of money to Penner to join their club, the guy has been, somewhat unfairly, expected to be a premium goal scorer in the NHL. Remember, Penner was undrafted and never given much notice until the Ducks gave him a shot. I`d never reject that kind of money thrown my way, but that doesn`t necessarily mean he was worth that much or would ever produce enough value.

A quick answer to Greg, and anyone else holding their breath: Stop expecting Penner to be a good player.

Look at Penner`s career stats. It`s pretty clear what his true level of play is.

What do people expect/hope Penner to be? A 30-goal, 60-point impact player, at the very least.
What is Penner really? A 45-point second-line winger with motivational issues. 4 of his 5 five full seasons show remarkable consistency, and it is obvious that his 60-point season was the outlier.

Penner is now 29-years old, and has 5 full seasons + under his belt. He is not terribly physical for a “Power Forward”, he has been given loads of ice time throughout his career, and has constantly needed a kick in the ass.

It`s time to stop expecting Penner to be a premier goal scorer and realize he is a second-line non-impact winger. Just admit you got stood up for your date and go home.

Sure, that is not what the Kings and Oilers paid for, but it is what they got.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+penner



Sure, that is not what the Kings and Oilers paid for, but it is what they got.

Really?  So when the Kings traded for a guy who has scored at least 45 points per season in all but one on his NHL seasons, they should’ve expected a guy who is on pace for 9 points this year?

He’ll never be a point per game player, but the Kings aren’t wrong to expect that he should be better than he has been.

Posted by Garth on 11/02/11 at 11:22 PM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

I think he should have always been treated as a utility player.  I’d compare him a bit to a Michal Handzus type of player and that kind of potential.  Edmonton must have thought they saw superstar written all over him.  Guess they were way off base there.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 11/02/11 at 11:43 PM ET

JesGolbez's avatar


True, his current pace is disgusting, but it’s hardly surprising he isn’t doing too much.


Penner did score 29 goals in his first full season, so most people would think he was capable of scoring a decent amount. Sure, he was 25 (an older rookie), but a 6’4” winger who can score goals is always tantalizing. The problem is that Lowe basically deemed Penner to be a Franchise Player with the $ and picks he spent, when Penner seemed more of a good goal scorer who happened to be tall. (His size isn’t often a positive factor like it should be).

It is even more baffling the Kings paid what they did for Penner when it was clear Penner was not going to be a 60+ point player. Penner is known commodity now, so they don’t have the ‘potential’ excuse.

Posted by JesGolbez from Burnaby, BC on 11/02/11 at 11:57 PM ET

Lyle Richardson's avatar

You’ve still got it, Jes! Here’s hoping to see more from you.

Posted by Lyle Richardson on 11/03/11 at 12:18 AM ET


The problem is that Lowe basically deemed Penner to be a Franchise Player with the $ and picks he spent,

What?  Penner was paid in line with guys like Hartnell and Huselius at the time of his contract with the Oilers.  Hardly “franchise players.”  What sort of goods are you selling that you have to slant your pitch so severely?

Penner averaged 24 goals per 82 games played, over the first 4 years of his contract.  For that he was paid $4.25 million a year.  That’s probably about market, especially when you eliminate entry-level contracts from the analysis.  If you signed a Free Agent to a 5 year deal for that sum, and that’s what you got for the first four years, you probably did okay.  You didn’t get an all-star, but you’re not paying All-Star wages.  You got a Hartnell.  At least you didn’t get a Drury or a Gomez or a Blake, huh?  I think Oiler fans hoped that they found a player who would become an All-Star, but what they got was… pretty much what they paid for.  A 30 goal, 60 point impact player AT THE VERY MOST. 

And if Penner continued on that pace for the Kings, giving up a mid-round 1st and a diminishing former 1st round pick wouldn’t be that bad either.  (Especially considering what teams usually give up and get at the trade deadline). 

Posted by jonquixote on 11/03/11 at 12:41 AM ET


True, his current pace is disgusting, but it’s hardly surprising he isn’t doing too much.

You can’t really be saying (typing) with a straight face…

Edmonton overpaid for him, no question, but every single person in the hockey world knew that when Edmonton signed him to that offer sheet.  And the Kings knew that they were going to be overpaying him to play on the team, but you can’t honestly pretend that you are surprised that he is on pace for a single digit point total.  Not based on ANYTHING in his past.  If he plays 82 games this year he is on pace to get THREE more points than he scored in regular season games with the Kings last year, and THAT was underperforming.

You can easily look at this 09-10 totals and say there were out of the ordinary, but he should, based on the rest of his career, be expected to put up at least 40 points.

To say you’re genuinely not surprised by his production so far this year is nothing but disingenuous.

Posted by Garth on 11/03/11 at 01:49 AM ET

JesGolbez's avatar


OK, I did not expect 9 points this season… you got me there smile I am honestly not THAT dense to think Penner is going to get 10-15 points in a full season!

I am just not surprised he isn’t doing very much for the Kings, given his past history and lack of drive. 1 point in 9 games is a slump that happens to middling players from time to time. If this was at Game 40, it would be buried in the stats.

Posted by JesGolbez from Burnaby, BC on 11/03/11 at 01:56 AM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Why shouldn’t goals be expected from a guy who, in his 5 NHL seasons, has scored over 20 goals 4 times and 17 once?

Posted by NHLJeff from Denver on 11/03/11 at 02:03 AM ET


I am just not surprised he isn’t doing very much for the Kings, given his past history and lack of drive

I guess it depends on your definition of “doing much”.  If the Kings expected him to be a #1 line winger then they’re fools.  I just don’t think they did expect that.  They probably, and rightly, expected that he would be a reliable mid-6 winger who could put up 40 points, and I don’t think they were wrong to expect that.  And if his point total was the only problem that would be one thing, but he’s also shooting a lot less, so it’s not just a matter of him not beating the goalies, he’s not even giving the goalies a chance to make the saves…

As for the matter of Puck Daddy doing an entire article on “The Dustin Penner Problem”, well, I question a lot of their articles, such as the one yesterday about a guy spilling his beer, and everything written by Ryan Lambert.

Posted by Garth on 11/03/11 at 02:08 AM ET


It was a gamble for the Kings to say the least.  Penner’s size and previous scoring was enough to gamble on especially as the Kings limped into the playoffs. Yes, they paid dearly for him: a 1st, 3rd, and Teubert. However, he is in the last year of his contract and the Kings will likely feature him at the trade deadline. My problem is that for a guy his size and with his touch, he plays like he’s 16 year old girl who was just stood up for the prom. I mean WTF? Rarely does he use his size to his advantage and gets thumped in the crease by guys half his size. He won’t be with the Kings past this year and I suspect not past the trade deadline. Some east coast team will pick him up for a 3rd or a 4th and a prospect.

Posted by scooter on 11/03/11 at 12:00 PM ET

Wings_Fan_In_KC's avatar

Penner wasn’t “that good” when he was with the Ducks.

Penner wasn’t “that good” when he was with the Oil.

Penner isn’t “that good” when he is with the Kings.

Pretty fargin’ simple there…..............as the author says and despite what Kings fans want to believe…....HE AIN’T THAT GOOD !!

Posted by Wings_Fan_In_KC from ...somewhere southwest of The Motor City... on 11/08/11 at 09:47 PM ET

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