Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dustin Penner buffed up his reputation as the Los Angeles Kings ascended to the ranks of the NHL elite over the past two seasons. He scored some key playoff goals, but in the regular season, Penner lit the lamp just 11 times in 117 games with L.A.
Penner has indicated a willingness to stay with the Kings, even if it means taking a pay cut. After they won the 2012 Stanley Cup, he came back for one year at $3.25 million. This summer, Los Angeles has just $5 million in cap space available, with RFAs Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis and Jordan Nolan still to re-sign.
There may not be enough money or ice time available for Penner to stay in Los Angeles. His best bet might be to return to Edmonton.
Penner's best year of his career was 2009-10, when he potted 32 goals and 63 points with the Oilers. He provides size and physicality up front that the Oilers forwards are lacking. At a reasonable price point and with two more years of big-game experience under his belt, a player like Penner could be a valuable mentor for Edmonton's young guns over the next couple of seasons.