The Kings reeled in the biggest fish at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring left wing Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Colten Teubert, a first-round 2011 draft pick, and a conditional third-round pick in 2012.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun wrote on Twitter that the 2012 pick will become a second-round pick if the Kings win the Stanley Cup.
Update: General manager Dean Lombardi told reporters at team headquarters in El Segundo that the trade ultimately came together Monday.
“When we left here late last night, everything was still very much in the air,” he said. “In terms of this having me going to bed last night thinking this was done, we were far from it.
“This is (one of) those times when you look at your locker room and say, they deserve some help in strengthening our locker room, making us a better team.”
Penner, 28, has scored at least 20 goals in four of his five NHL seasons, including a team-leading 21 goals for the Oilers this season. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound winger set career highs last season with 32 goals and 31 assists in 82 games.
Kings head coach Terry Murray said on an interview this morning with NHL Live that he envisions playing Penner alongside center Anze Kopitar.
In a press conference today in Edmonton — a sure sign that he won’t arrive in Los Angeles in time for tonight’s game against Detroit — Penner said that he enjoyed his three and a half seasons in Edmonton, but wasn’t opposed to a trade. Penner previously played for the Anaheim Ducks before signing a lucrative offer sheet with Edmonton following the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup run.
Two seasons remain, this year and next, at $4.5 million per season.
“With big contracts and big money also comes big expectations,” Penner said. “I focused on becoming more consistent, a player that could play at every position. I think I’m on my way to that. I’m not there yet. It’s too bad I won’t be able to do it here.”
Lombardi emphasized that Penner’s familiarity with former Oilers teammates Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene, who lived with Penner for a time in Edmonton, ought to create a “comfort zone” right away.
“Not only does (Penner) fit in terms of the player and the need — the left wing was kind of sticking out — but also the contract’s not, you know, he’s locked in. Secondly, it’s not a cost-prohibitive contract. It doesn’t, stop us from going out and being aggressively in the summer for the right player. So it kind of fit for us on a long-term basis too in terms of what else we might be able to do.”
Teubert, 20, is in his first full professional season with AHL Manchester. The 6-foot-4 defenseman has two goals, 10 points and 57 penalty minutes in 39 games. He missed the beginning of the season and training camp with a hand/wrist injury, and the pace of his development had him buried on the organizational depth chart.
“When I was down in Manchester, he’s come a long way,” Lombardi said of Teubert. “He started off a little slowly coming out of his draft year, but he was arguably one of our most improved players down there. Probably the one reason I was able to do this is because we have Matt Greene. What is aw in Manchester was very much, in a lot of ways, a young Matt Greene. I think Edmonton’s got a good player here.
“He’s still got development to do, but what I saw in Manchester, he’s on track.”
A few more notes:
Lombardi noted that the trade wasn’t technically done when he spoke just after noon. The NHL needs to formally approve all trades, and there is always some backup in that process on deadline day. He also said that he didn’t know when Penner would be able to play, given that he needs to obtain a work visa first.
LeBrun wrote on his Twitter account that the Oilers “never came off (their) demand of (Brayden) Schenn for (Ales) Hemsky, so Kings shifted gears to Penner.” That would seem to jell with comments made later in the afternoon by Steve Tambellini. When asked about discussions involving Schenn with the Kings, the Oilers’ GM told reporters, “any time that name (Schenn) came up with whoever he (Lombardi) spoke to, there was like, ‘click.’ ” Regarding Hemsky specifically, Tambellini said “there was nothing that even came close to us moving our best player. … There was nothing that made me think twice about returning a call.” For his part, Lombardi said “that was a non-starter, in terms of us ever considering (trading) a player of Schenn’s category. We never had to agonize over whether we were going to do something.”
Lombardi also said he didn’t want to deal a player off the Kings’ current roster. “There was no way that we were going to do that. Unless there was a problem, a lot of the other things I might have been looking at just didn’t make sense. … To fill a hole and create a hole didn’t make any sense.”