Dustin Penner Added to List of Team Canada Possibles

Jim ParsonsContributor IDecember 10, 2009

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 7: Dustin Penner #27 of the Edmonton Oilers watches the puck during a face off against the Florida Panthers on December 7, 2009 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Oilers defeated the Panthers 3-2 in a shoot out. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Dustin Penner has been nothing short of incredible for the Edmonton Oilers this year. By leaps and bounds, he's been the Oilers' most productive player, and the results of his play are starting to produce dividends.

Outside of the fact that the Oilers have won four in a row on the road and on the same trip (something they hadn't done since November of 1988), Penner has been officially added to a list of six players that might be considered for Team Canada Olympic roster spots, those six players having not been at the original Olympic invitation camp.

At the expense of Steven Stamkos, who left Wednesday's game versus Edmonton with an upper body injury, that list could be down to five.

What makes this such great news for Oiler fans and for Penner is that he absolutely deserves consideration. More than some of the softer forwards who've been invited to camp, Penner has been consistently good offensively and defensively for the Oilers and would make a strong forward for that squad in any capacity.

With 32 points in 31 games, Penner is in the top 15 in scoring in the NHL and tied for sixth with 17 goals. Ironically, the same day Penner was passed the Olympic news, he tied last season's goal total at the 32-game mark of this season and equalled the point total this season of Jarome Iginla, who is being considered possible Team Canada captain material.

If anything smells of a good sign, that might be it.