Thursday, August 2, 2007

The World's Highest-Paid Opportunistic Forward Who Doesn't Play Defense

Our friends in the frigid tundra known as Edmonton now have them selves a shiny new toy: Dustin Penner. At the cost of $4.3M a year for five years. And a first round draft pick this year. And a second round draft pick this year. And a third round draft pick this year.

There really is no point in discussing the stupidity of such a deal. Here's the Coles Notes Version:

  • This guy is unproven. He played with super-talented linemates on a stacked team. He's undrafted with one decent year (what is it, about 0.5 points per game?).
  • How the hell do you become a minus player on the Ducks last season? That takes talent. I haven't exactly studied Penner, admittedly, but I'm not convinced he's a very solid defensive player at all. And, as I've pointed out earlier, the Oilers are severely lacking on solid defensemen in general with nary a plus-rated d-man in the entire group.
  • Edmonton is essentially in a re-building mode. I don't think there's anyone expecting Edmonton to make a run for the cup next year, yet they've given up an enormous amount of draft picks
So who will he play with? From what I've been hearing, it's Hemsky. This is starting to look a seriously defensively-deficient team, and one hell of a porous top line. I'm really giddy right now, I'm terribly excited about the prospect of playing such a top line eight times next year. In their defense, a dangler like Hemsky may just work well with a "goal scorer" like Penner (note: 29 goals isn't really that much, in terms of being a top line scoring threat). But I'm still not convinced, at all, that this will materialize into anything substantial. I think the massive defensive liabilities of that top line will certainly keep their +/- deep in the red, even if they can pot a few goals.

And really, folks, I don't care if Hemsky gets 60 assists and Penner gets 60 goals if they are responsible for 120 goals against.


  1. Somehow despite Penner being all there really is to talk about hockey-wise lately, it didn't occur to me until I stumbled over here that it would indeed probably be Hemsky he'd be playing with. It makes sense, considering they kept saying their goal was to get a goal scorer to play on a line with him.

    But. Man am I even less enthused about this whole Penner plan (and I'm pretty sure the whole world knows about my disgusting love of Hemsky, so that's saying something) now. Sigh.

  2. There is the slight potential that Penner -- a hardy Canadian boy -- and Hemsky -- a soft European boy -- can work some magic together.

    A chance, if anything...