Newest King Dustin Penner likes what he sees in Los Angeles
Dustin Penner ended his last postseason experience by hoisting the Stanley Cup as a member of the Ducks in 2007.
After three non-playoff seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, the burly left wing with the soft hands is ready to refresh his playoff chops with the Kings, who acquired him in a trade Monday.
“From the outside looking in … it looks like a very talented team, and I know they are,” said Penner, who arrived in L.A. on Tuesday and will practice with the Kings for the first time Wednesday. “They’re very tough to play against. They’re big-bodied and seem like they have the right tools to be a great playoff team.”
Penner, 28, cost the Kings 2008 first-round draft choice Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in June and a conditional 2012 pick. But they hope Penner will end their search for a left wing who can mesh with center Anze Kopitar. Penner welcomes the chance.
“He’s very fleet of foot. He controls the puck well. He has very good hands and is physical as far as using his body to shield the puck and finding his teammates,” Penner said of Kopitar. “He shares the puck very well. He’s done better every year.”
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound forward left Anaheim after the Ducks didn’t match Edmonton’s five-year, $21.25-million offer sheet. The money was good, but he faced intense pressure. He responded by scoring 23 goals in the 2007-08 season, only 17 in 2008-09 and a career-best 32 goals last season. He had 21 goals and 39 points in 62 games before the trade.
“There were some good years. I like to say I had three out of four good years, so it’s a pretty good batting percentage, .750,” said Penner, who has a home in Newport Beach. “I learned a lot about myself and about the hockey world. It taught me a lot and made me better as a player and as a person. I think I’m better for it.”
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