Frozen in time,
Six years and many strange turns later, the trio will reunite Thursday for the Ducks' first training camp practice at Anaheim Ice. In experimenting to see if their old bonds hold, Coach Bruce Boudreau will reassemble what was broken when Penner signed a five-year, $21.25-million offer sheet from the
"I always thought back when I was deciding whether or not to sign the offer sheet, I talked to my agent and I didn't want to leave," Penner said Wednesday after his pre-camp fitness tests at Honda Center.
"It was a long arduous process the last two weeks and he said, 'You know, there's a good chance you'll always end up back here,' and that's kind of the thought that was in the back of my mind when I signed. I think every hockey player thinks his career is going to last long and I was planning on mine lasting longer and somehow working my way back around to getting here again."
The Kings, with many young wingers to develop, lacked the salary-cap space and patience to keep Penner. Ducks General Manager
Penner signed a one-year, $2-million contract on July 16, drawing ire from Kings fans he'd charmed with his wit and social media skills. "I didn't know how strong the rivalry was until I crossed over back to the dark or light side, depending on which side of the ledger you're on," he said. "It's pretty interesting and comical."
He's serious about contributing to the Ducks again, whether alongside Getzlaf and Perry or anyone else.
"What's important to me at this stage of my career is just winning," he said. "I want to be one of those guys that can be dependable and accountable for the coaching staff to be put out there not just in a power-play situation but the end of the game, up by one, things like that. You want to be able to be a utility, Swiss-army-knife type thing."
In the first of many "lasts," right wing
"I'm way more relieved than before because I can enjoy every day," he said. "It was a good decision to just say it right away and just take advantage of every day and enjoy. ... It's going to be fun to know this is the last time as a hockey player in this building or in this city."
Selanne isn't expecting farewell gifts, but he'd accept one present. "New golf clubs because I threw my old ones in the pond," he said, recalling his antics in the video in which he announced his return for this season.