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Salt Spring Island, BC • Canada • 17 Years Old • Male
In the midst of all the Dustin Penner drama, I started thinking to myself why would a well respected veteran general manager like Kevin Lowe go through so much trouble to bring over the 25 year-old Manitoba native to Edmonton. Penner, who appeared in all 82 games with the Anaheim Ducks last season, finished with 29 goals and 16 assists in his first full NHL season and played in all 21 playoff games with 8 points, which led to a Stanley Cup victory for the South California franchise. Lowe, before acquiring Penner, had already started some controversy when he went after Buffalo Sabres restricted free agent, Tomas Vanek. After a few days of speculation, the Sabres decided to match Lowe’s offer and keep Vanek in a Sabres jersey. It’s not hard to see why Lowe would go after Vanek, 84 points in 82 games in his second NHL season, 10 points in 16 playoff games, and an all around good attitude makes him a desirable player for any team. But then things started to get interesting, when news of Lowe signing Dustin Penner to an offer sheet of $21.25 million US over five years broke out. Ducks GM Brian Burke quickly addressed the media with regards to Lowe and everyone felt the uneasy tension between the two. Seven days passed and Burke decided he wouldn’t match Lowe’s offer thus Penner became an Edmonton Oiler. I kept thinking what Lowe saw in Penner that other general managers didn’t and then it came to me, he was trying to fill a void left by former Oiler, Ryan Smyth. Smyth, also known as “Captain Canada”, had left Edmonton to become a New York Islander at the trade deadline and when the free agent frenzy began, he was quickly signed by the Colorado Avalanche to a five year, $31.2 million contract. If you take a look at both Penner and Smyth they’re actually quite similar, both play a gritty, grind type game, in front of the net using their size as a weapon, crushing the opposing team, and both players are great examples of what are called “power forwards”.

It’s true, in today’s NHL there is a shortage of power forwards, if you think about only a handful come to mind, Joe Thornton, Todd Bertuzzi, Jarome Iginla, Brendan Shanahan and, of course, Penner and Smyth. It’s also a fact that these kinds of players are the league’s hottest commodities and thus massive multi-year offers are made. Especially after the lockout, it’s been harder and harder to find a power forward that doesn’t mind getting his feet wet but I think Penner is a clear exception. At 6’4, 245 pounds, Penner is one of the most intimidating forwards in game today, and the great thing about him? He doesn’t mind dropping the gloves or playing physical when needed and at the same time he can also score goals and make plays. Instead of calling Kevin Lowe a backstabber or hypocrite, I’d call him somewhat of a genius. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Penner tallying 70-80 points by the 2008-2009 season just because of the grinding physical style he plays.

I really think Lowe has struck gold with Penner, at approximately $4.25 million a season he’s not exactly a steal but I believe he’ll be worth the money in his time with the Oilers. Penner has the size, skill and determination to become the league’s best power forwards and I bet he’ll do just that. I can see him becoming an instant fan favorite in Edmonton, like Bertuzzi in Vancouver, Thornton in San Jose and Iginla in Calgary. Edmonton will never forget such an impact player like Ryan Smyth, but with a guy like Dustin Penner in the locker room, it’ll definitely ease the wound.
Filed Under:   Dustin Penner   Power Forwards   Kevin Lowe  
August 6, 2007 1:53 PM ET | Delete
I am just gald that here in Vancouver we have a similar player in Taylor Pyatt for much cheaper...heres how they compare.Taylor PyattBorn: '81 Height: 6'4" Weight: 233 lbs2006/07 Stats: 23G, 14A, 37p -- 13:57 average TOIFinancial compensation: $1.575m/yr, 2 more yearsAcquired: 4th Round draft pickDustin PennerBorn: '82 Height: 6'4" Weight: 243 lbs2006/07 Stats: 29G, 16A, 45 p -- 13:59 average TOIFinancial compensation: $4.25M/year, 5 more yearsAcquired: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Round draft picks
August 6, 2007 2:09 PM ET | Delete
Edmonton fans better just hope Dustin Penner wants to play in Edmonton. I don't think they'll be a problem. Just hope it's not Mike Comrie all over again.
August 6, 2007 2:39 PM ET | Delete
Somehow, I doubt that he'll tally what you think. The oilers are a fast team. Penner is slow. The thing with power forwards is that it's a rare one who can skate fast enough to get around in the modern NHL.Prime example: Eric Cole of the Hurricanes. Why do you think there have been two teams looking to trade for him already? (neither will ever get the deal). He's fast, he's powerful, and he has a scoring touch. Penner would have been a great in the old NHL. Not anymore.
August 6, 2007 3:52 PM ET | Delete
Leafs have powerforwards... we got Poni Kilger and Antro XD...now we got Bell, lets hope he does well
August 6, 2007 4:12 PM ET | Delete
aaaaannnnd that is exactly why leafs dont make the playoffs in the new nhl. Not only do you have an abundance of unskilled power forwards...you pick up Bell with a more rediculous contract than Penner's. Getting back on topic, I think Penner will definatly help the team, but in the end most fans will end up upset that he doesnt have remotly as much skill as ANY player making his kind of money. I respect the Oilers a lot and hope they have at least some success this year, but zero respect for Lowe. Memo to Lowe, PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS TO MICK FISHER NEXT SUMMER
August 6, 2007 4:13 PM ET | Delete
***make that 'MIKE'
August 6, 2007 5:04 PM ET | Delete
Actually, Mike Fisher would look much better in a black and gold with orange trim uni. He was the only Sen's player that made me nervous during the cup finals last year. You KNOW Burke was watching him too.
August 6, 2007 9:42 PM ET | Delete
Penner is the next Messier..all you haters should just shut it! HAHA just kidding, Penner was undrafted for a reason. We will find out this season.
August 7, 2007 2:26 AM ET | Delete
actually fishfan, Bell's contract is only 2M... and was great in Chicago, he just had off-ice issues in SJS... Antropov has lots of skill, really soft hands, his major knock is his fragility and lack of speed, due to an injury early on in his career that took out his knees, as for Kilger, he's got an awesome shot(hardest in the league) but no accuracy...
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