Thursday, August 2, 2007

Kevin Lowe Gets His Man

This guy is coming to Edmonton. You know, the one on the left.

John Woods/AP

Today, the Anaheim Ducks announced that they have declined to match the Edmonton Oilers' offer sheet for Dustin Penner. Penner will head to Edmonton for the next five years, earning $4.25 million per in the process. In return, the Ducks receive the Oilers' first, second and third round picks next June.

My winners in this deal? The Ducks, and there is no doubt about it. They get three extra draft picks next year, for a 24 year old who had one stellar year and a less than stellar playoff run. If this team was not as deep as it is, then the Ducks may have needed to hold on to Penner. He was the seventh leading scorer on a team that comes off a Stanley Cup victory due in large part to their checking line, defense and net minder. I'm not saying that their offense is bad, because it isn't, but they can certainly afford the loss and may end up with a lottery pick to boot. Next June, the Ducks can easily grab a guy that could have the potential to completely replace Penner sometime down the road.

From the Edmonton side of things, this is more or less a desperate move to improve the team. They lost Ryan Smyth, bombed the rest of the season, couldn't make any big acquisitions at the draft, and have yet to sign a solid forward through free agency. That being said, if Penner can improve on last season, the deal may be worth it down the road.

Is $4.25 million next year too much for Penner? Yes. It's not all bad, though.

This isn't a move that kills the Oilers cap space, and it certainly does improve the team while hurting a conference foe in the short run. The problem is that this move puts a good sized dent in their farm system, as they are essentially losing a year of picks. Down the road, that's going to be a problem. You don't draft star players every year, and if you are not a contender, you need those picks to try and build your team. If the Oilers can find a way into the playoffs (emphasis on 'if'), losing late round picks makes this deal better from their view, but that does not seem to be a likely scenario.

Right now, the Ducks are the clear winners in this deal. There's no doubt about it. Even if their three picks don't pan out, I don't think there's a GM in the league that would be angry about getting three nice picks for a 1/2 point per game player. Down the road the Oilers may come out of this deal better off, but until Penner earns All-Star honors that will not be the case.

UPDATE: Says Brian Burke; "We're going to take the three picks, and given Kevin's recent (managerial) performance, we expect them to be excellent picks." Ooooohhh sick burn! As per Mirtle, per the Ducks website.


  1. No one wins in this deal. Spending this much money on a young role player who maybe, maybe will develop into something more will only set a standard that will result in escalating salaries across the board and a return of all of the problems that the league had that sent it to a lockout in the first place.

  2. Well when the owners complain about rising salaries in the next CBA they'll know who to blame, the Rangers.