The Anaheim Ducks snatched up one of the remaining notable names out on the free agent market on Tuesday, when they agreed to a one-year deal with a former division rival, Dustin Penner. Penner won’t have to travel far to join the Ducks, as he had spent the last couple of years in Los Angeles.
Of course, this isn’t Penner’s first go-round in Anaheim. He previously won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks, spending the first couple years of his career in Anaheim. Those two years featured 101 games total, with Penner posting 33 goals and assisting on 19 over that span.
The last couple of years haven’t been the greatest for Penner, who had seen a major drop off in his offensive output since joining the Los Angeles Kings. He totaled only 11 goals across three seasons with the Kings, in 117 games. He served as a healthy scratch on more than one occasion, and then there was the whole injured-while-eating-pancakes debacle.
Despite his recent decline, this is a signing that is extremely low risk for the Ducks. The deal for Penner is only one year, and carries a cap hit of just $2 million, a pretty significant paycut compared to what he had been making in the last two years with the Kings. It’s low-risk, potentially high reward.
If Penner can recapture his old form and pot 20 or so goals, this signing becomes a brilliant one for the Ducks and likely sets himself up for a long-term deal next summer. If not, he’s a bottom six role player that can add some physicality to the mix, and his own flavor to the locker room. It comes with virtually no risk, and has the potential to help ease the loss of Bobby Ryan on offense.