When Dustin Penner was a RFA in the summer of 2007, his signing with the Edmonton Oilers caused quite a stir in the hockey world. His team, the Anaheim Ducks were dealing with salary cap issues, and before they were able to re-sign in, Oilers GM Kevin Lowe swooped in and signed Penner to an offer sheet that the Ducks were unable to match. The move garnered a ton of criticism from Ducks GM Brian Burke and ignited a war of words between the two. For all the trouble, Penner started strong with the Oilers, scoring 23 goals in his first season with the team. But his production dipped the following year, sparking a bit of uproar over Penners contract, which earned him around 5 million dollars per season. He bounced back in 2009-10 scoring a career high 32 goals, and was Edmonton’s leading scorer this season before they traded him. There was a lot of speculation that he might be moved at the deadline, but the big winger was still surprised.
Penner himself expressed that this season he was finally feeling at home with the Oilers and finding his game, but they shipped him out of town at the trade deadline to the Los Angeles Kings for a first round pick and prospect Colton Teubert. His tenure with the Kings hasn’t been noteworthy so far, as he has scored just 2 goals and 6 points since being acquired. On March 29th, Penner faced his former team for the first time since being traded, and the new team came out on top. No thanks to him, though. Penner had no points and 2 shots in just over 16 minutes of ice time. Dustin Brown scored both goals for Los Angeles and rookie Jonathan Bernier earned the shut-out making 32 saves. Despite the victory, the Kings desperately need production from their big deadline acquisition if they hope to stay afloat in the Western Conference since their two leading scorers, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams went down with injury.
The game against the Kings marked the final call for legendary Oilers broadcaster Rod Phillips. Phillips has been in the Oilers broadcast booth for the past 37 years, calling over 3500 games. The team honored Phillips before the game. The Oilers just signed Canadian world Juniors silver medalist Olivier Roy to a three year entry level contract. The 6 foot 180 pound goalie was drafted by the Oilers in 2009, 133rd overall. He currently plays for Acadie-Bathurst in the QMJHL. The Oilers have lost 10 straight games, and are looking forward to the end of a very dismal season. They have 6 games remaining, including two against the NHL’s best Vancouver Canucks.