Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Re-evaluating the Dustin Penner Deal

After 60 games, Dustin Penner is sitting with 35 points in 60 games (0.5833 PPG), a slight improvement over last year's 45 in 82 (0.5487 PPG). Goal totals are down (29 last year - 17 thus far this season), while assists are up (16 vs 18).

Penner began the season out of shape, and only scored 5 points in the first 13 games. That's water under the bridge - however, playing on the top line logging up minutes, it's a fair opinion to argue that he's underperformed the expectations.

It's not so much that that he's going to cost the Oilers 4.25M for five years - nobody was expecting him to be a value contract, as going to RFA route prevents you - but the fact the compensation for him appears to be steep.

The Oilers would be picking 4th overall if the season ended today.

I was initially in a ''wait and see'' mode for the Penner deal - and in the end, it's about results.

A top 5 pick in a talented draft class (comparable to 2003) is something. Gagner/Voracek were 6/7 last year - so effectively we're giving up that (possibly more?) for Penner. An early 2nd round pick (i.e. 34th overall) is also a valuable asset (that can be traded) in a deep draft. Ditto for early 3rd (i.e. to move up in draft position).

And honestly, Anaheim didn't take a step back in the results category - Todd Bertuzzi is still a better hockey player than Dustin Penner. The impact Anaheim felt is negligible to improve our position from the first round pick in the FCP deal.

The whole situation is depressing when you really think about it. This team would be in Stamkos territory with plentiful of cap space, had Lowe not tried for the quick fix in Souray and Penner. I actually wish Nylander would have signed here. That is the bottom line.

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