With the recent acquisition of Dustin Penner by the Caps, the top six forwards just got a whole lot better. While Penner is not going to be the sole force behind the Caps offense, he sure will help.
Let’s go for a little back story of Penner, shall we?
Penner was born in Winkler, Manitoba with hockey in his blood. Other Caps forward Eric Fehr was born in Winkler as well. Penner and Fehr both played on their high school team together; the Garden Valley Zodiacs. Penner was a senior when Fehr was a freshman. Who knew?
Penner then went on to be cut from almost every hockey team he played for until he was scouted in a Saskatoon evaluation camp. He went on to play for the University of Maine on a scholarship. Penner scored the game winning goal in the NCAA Semifinal game for the Black Bears in 2004 but then went on the lose in the Finals to the University of Denver.
Penner was signed by the Anaheim Ducks (then the Mighty Ducks) to a three year entry level contract. Penner spent three years in Anaheim’s AHL affiliate (playing only 19 NHL games in 2006) and was given a full shot at the big leagues in 2006, recording 45 points (29 goals, 16 assists). Penner won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in his first full season on the NHL roster
. In that Stanley Cup winning season with Anaheim, Penner scored two game winning goals in the post season one in the Quarter Finals against the Wild and one in the Finals against the Sens. In the following offseason, Penner signed a five year, $21.25 million dollar contract with the Edmonton Oilers. With the Oilers, Penner tallied a whopping 186 points (93 goals, 93 assists… talk about consistency). Penner spent three seasons and some change in Edmonton before being dealt to the Kings in 2011. In his second season with the Kings, Penner propelled the team to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. In 2012, Penner signed a one year extension with the Kings worth $3.25 million.
In 2013, Penner became an unrestricted free agent and decided to return to Anahiem signing a one year deal. And then we come to today, March fourth, 2014, where Dustin Penner will continue his NHL career with the Washington Capitals Organization where he was traded for a fourth round pick.
The question stands: What kind of played did GMGM bring into DC? To my and everyone else’s surprise, GMGM brought in a solid, experienced player who is used to winning (to be honest, GMGM probably surprised himself with this trade). Coming in with two rings and from the top team in the league, I’m expecting Penner to be not only a presence on the ice, but in the locker room as well. Very few players in the Caps locker room have extensive playoff experience. Penner is one of those guys. I’m hoping he will be able to push those around him and inspire them to be hungry for a Stanley, but not in a cannibalistic way. Penner has played 64 playoff games and 35 postseason points. That’s not too shabby for someone we got in return for a fourth round draft pick. Penner also brings in breath of freshness and hilarity as shown by his antics on twitter.
Penner will likely fit in nicely with Alexander Ovechkin and our trusty ol’ Swede Nicky Backstrom. He’s used to being around people who can play as exemplified during his time on a line with both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim.
“Hopefully it’s similar to the way Getz and Perry were,” Penner said about the possibility on playing on the Caps top line. “We were able to generate offense.”
Another reason Penner will fit in nicely, he and Ovi both having matching missing teeth: