At last year’s trade deadline, the Los Angeles Kings had high hopes when they traded for left winger Dustin Penner.
The Kings had put together a solid record and looked to Penner to add some size and scoring ability to an already talented squad.
That trade with Edmonton was supposed to be the biggest blockbuster of trade deadline day.
Penner has not lived up to expectations, however.
Let’s examine three reasons the Kings regret trading for Dustin Penner.
Starting with the obvious one—Penner has not put up the numbers expected of him.
When acquired last season, Penner had 21 goals with 19 games left in the season. The thinking was that on a more talented Kings squad, he would challenge the 30-goal mark.
It would have been his second straight season with 30 goals. Instead, he scored two goals in those 19 games. Two. He also added four assists.
We saw more of the same from him in last year’s first-round series against San Jose. He scored one goal in the six game series and was a non-factor throughout. His shoddy numbers, lack of effort and poor defensive play brought out the boo-birds early and often.
He’s currently on the IR for a hand injury, but his play so far this season has not been any different than last. He has a mere two assists in 14 games this season.
The Kings have less than $2 million in cap space this season. Take out Penner’s cap hit of $4.25 million and you’ve got yourself around $6 million in cap space to play with this year.
Luckily for the Kings, they won’t be burdened with Penner's enormous contract much longer, as it expires at the end of the season.
But if you believe the Kings are Stanley Cup contenders this season—and many still believe they are even after the slow start to the season—extra cash would come in handy at the trade deadline.
Penner did not come cheap. His addition set the Kings back a first-round pick and a conditional third rounder. They also gave up defensive prospect Colten Teubert in the deal.
Colten Teubert should develop into a shutdown defenseman. He stands tall at 6’4”, but doesn’t have much offense in his game.
The Oilers selected defenseman Oscar Klefbom with the Kings’ first-round selection in last year’s draft. Losing out on Klefbom will hurt. Like Teubert, he’s a big defenseman. He’s a great skater and has some scoring ability.