IF IT AIN’T BROKE

Share on TwitterShare on Facebook+1Share on TumblrDigg ThisSubmit to redditShare via email
Penner practicing in El Segundo  - Photo: SpatzShots

With Kings $3.25 Million Dollar Forward Dustin Penner Riding The Pine, Fans Understandably Might Think He Would Be Getting Anxious For A Return To The Lineup. Think Again. Photo: SpatzShots

By John Hoven • MayorsManor.com •

In the deal with the Oilers, Lombardi received a player who had scored at least 20 goals five times and already had a championship ring. Since arriving in Los Angeles though, Penner has only scored nine regular season goals in 86 games played.

After a rough 2011-12 season, all seemed to be forgotten when he scored one of the biggest goals in team history last May – an overtime, series-ending goal vs. the Coyotes – putting the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.

Rather than test free agency a few months later, Penner opted to sign a one-year contract with Lombardi and the Kings.

[...]

“(I want) to be part of a team that has stuck with me and believed in me,” he told MayorsManor just after signing his one-year, $3.25 million deal last summer. “I have great teammates, along with the coaching staff, management, Dean (Lombardi), Ron Hextall and everybody else. I just wanted to be part of something special and I didn’t want to have to pack up and readjust to a new team and a new city.”

[...]

On the eve of camp opening, Penner was…revving to get started – a chance to build on his success from last spring.

“It’s that good anxiety that you get seeing Daryl and Dean, and just that official feeling,” Penner said of his eagerness to get the season going. “You have that camaraderie and I guess a bit of the hoopla from winning it last year. It’s going to be a fun time to be around.”

Or so he thought.

[...]

Penner’s been benched for the Kings’ last three games, starting with a game in Edmonton – his home for nearly four seasons before coming to LA.

[...]

Fine, but what’s it going to take for him to get back in the line-up?

“Hopefully not an act of God,” Penner said. “It’s something you deal with as a professional. We’re a team first organization and we got a big win last time, you want to keep that rolling. So, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Read the full article here…

  • Michael J.

    My bet is that Penner desperately wants to get back into the lineup. He’s more than likely being a “good teammate” and towing the company line. He will get back in sooner than later.

    • Paul Armbruster

      It’s kind of a ‘yes and no’ thing for me. Yes, everyone wants wants to play. He’s a hockey player after all. But Penner isn’t just any player. He seems to take a ‘bigger picture’ point of view with a lot of this stuff. I don’t think he’s simply ‘towing the line’ and I do believe he’s a very good teammate on a man-to-man personal level. It’s just that the knock on Penner has always been he seems not to care at times…or at least not care as much as others would like him to in the way they would like him to. So while yes, I’m sure he wants to get back into the lineup, I don’t think he’s even close to ‘desperate’ in the true sense of the word. If he was, we’d see ‘Playoff Penner’ and we all know that when Playoff Penner wants to play, no one can stop him.

  • KC23

    I so don’t want to like Penner, but I just do. He’s like the class clown that everyone loves, but everyone knows he needs to be punished because standards have to be kept.

    I wouldn’t bet against Penner ending up being a very important part of this team down the line this season.

    • Paul Armbruster

      re: bet – no question! he certainly proved it last year in the playoffs. During the regular season last year, I gave up on him as a player but always liked him as a person. Unlike FroFro though, Penner persevered here and won it all. For that, I will always give him a break regardless of how he performs. Champ forever!

  • http://kingsnewsdaily.com Craig Schrader (formerly variable)

    penner just isn’t serious enough to take what seems to be a critical fork in the road in his spotty NHL career…well…seriously…

    usually. i like what he has to say…however, i would like to see fire in his eyes and want him to prove to everyone he can still play up to his ability…if he doesn’t realize this, he deserves a full-time position in the press box, being a healthy scratch…or perhaps trade bait to a team that is willing to take a low risk flyer on him…

    • Paul Armbruster

      That’s just it. I think he sees his ‘career’ very differently than most players and fans view the trajectory of any traditional career. Just keep him around until Shiny Silver Thing time and then let him loose. He’s Pancakes during the regular season and Psycho Penner during the post season and for some reason, that’s enough for me!

  • MickSorley

    I am actually kind of surprised he’s been benched this long. Sure he had some iffy shifts but he still looked a heck of a lot better than he did during the 2011-12 regular season. Three games riding the pine for a couple of bad shifts seems harsh.

    • Paul Armbruster

      On the surface I agree totally. It’s one of those things that I’m sure an NHL coach sees and people on the periphery don’t. I think Sutter is a fair guy and very sharp when it comes to assessing a player’s conditioning, which is why I don’t think it’s harsh more than just the look of it.

  • Paul Armbruster

    Penner played quite a bit on the right side of the 4th line today. It will be interesting to see if he makes an appearance there tomorrow.

    But I’m going to guess that he will be on the left side with Fraser and Nolan with King sitting upstairs. Just a guess, but I do think he’ll be back tomorrow.

    • http://kingsnewsdaily.com Craig Schrader (formerly variable)

      nolan didn’t have the greatest of games…and kinger whiffed at a few opportunities down low in the second and third periods…however, the line of fraser centering nolan and king was reunited and started to play a nice puck possession-type game…

      i think if penner comes to play…a la frolov…he can make a big impact on this team…we know this is true because we saw it last year in the playoffs,during our improbable cup run…i firmly believe that sutter is going to make him earn his spot back in the lineup and then look to see if penner gives him any indication that warrants more ice time and/or more games…

      dl is in a tough spot here with penner, once again…

  • MickSorley

    Off topic, but since you mentioned him – how much does Jordan Nolan remind you of Wayne Simmonds? Gritty, all-over-the-ice, physical forward. I think Nolan has top 6 potential one day. He would be a great fit with a couple of feel guys. Opening up lanes ala Cliffy.

    • http://kingsnewsdaily.com Craig Schrader (formerly variable)

      i agree…i think nolan has the determination, more so than his skill-level, to be a top-sixer…

      but we need him in the role he’s paying now…it’s always tricky for players the second time around…but like you said, one day, i could see him being a successful 40-50 point guy on a second line…

    • Paul Armbruster

      I see a lot of Simmer in Nolan. I’m no expert but it seems Simmonds is a superior skater and puck handler. Then again, Nolan is still very much learning despite his early success. Like C said, he could easily improve. To what level, I’m not sure.

  • Mars

    I think he is trying hard and his carefree attitude could be hurting him in the eyes of the coach. Again, just guessing. Its like a time and place, and he was in the dog house, maybe they are holding him out for the missing games, for something they knew about thing.

    Maybe its a mental health thing, something they are trying to get him over and get him hungry for.

    Then again DS could just be keeping him fresh for when an injury comes up. Hard to say.

  • Happy Lappy

    Penner being Penner just doesn’t work for me anymore. To repeat in a shortened season, every point is magnified. What he did in the playoffs was great, that’s now the past, he needs to sit or get traded (if possible).