EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings grabbed Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers for a package of prospects and picks just before the NHL trade deadline.
The 28-year-old left wing was sent from the Oilers (20-35-8), who own the league’s worst record, to the playoff-hopeful Kings on Monday. Edmonton will receive defenseman Colten Teubert and two draft picks — including a first-rounder this year.
Penner was enjoying one of his best seasons since signing with Edmonton as a restricted free agent in 2007, posting 21 goals and 39 points in 62 games. He has one year left at $4.25 million on the controversial deal that brought him to the Oilers from the Anaheim Ducks.
Teubert was chosen by Los Angeles with the No. 13 pick in the 2008 draft.
Penner has been the subject of Oilers’ fans displeasure since he signed a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet that the Ducks declined to match. The contract angered then-Anaheim general manager Brian Burke and created a rift between him and Kevin Lowe, Edmonton’s president of hockey operations
Burke often blamed Lowe for inflating the value of young restricted free agents, that rarely are signed to offer sheets by other teams.
“There were ups and downs,” Penner said of his time with the Oilers. “I had a decent first year. The second year was something I think a lot of people would like to forget. The last two I’ve enjoyed thoroughly.
“I came here with a big contract … that also comes with big expectations and if I tried to meet everyone’s expectations I would drive myself insane. So I focused on becoming more consistent and a player who could play every position. I think I’m on my way to that, I’m not there yet and it’s too bad I won’t be able to do it here.”
Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff said the club will miss Penner’s presence on and off the ice.
“He’s such a good teammate, and it’s tough to see a friend go,” he said. “At times it’s been a challenging situation for him. His second year was as difficult a time for him as for any player and I was so impressed with how he handled that.
“With his size, there are not a lot of guys can do what he can do on the ice.”
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Penner returns to California where he still has a home. His transition should be smooth because he already knows players on the team.
“It’s probably one of the better place I could go as far as having a house down there and a car,” he said.