Posts Tagged ‘Dustin Penner’

Dustin Penner, posting in a Tweet that a TMZ story “isn’t entirely accurate but you guys have your fun.” We decided, okay let’s have some fun.

According to the TMZ report, culled from this story in the International Business Times, actress Jessica Welch is one player away from scoring a hockey marriage hat- trick.

The former Mrs. Richard Zednik and newly x-Mrs. Dustin Penner is now UFA after an L.A. County court Judge granted Pancake’s motion for dissolution.

If you check out her photo-gallery, scoring again shouldn’t be an issue for her. The only question is who will be making her next future alimony payment. In most divorces, spousal support ends on remarriage. Who will give Pancake the same assist he gave Richard Zednik?

This is hockey. Someone has to step up and take one for the team.

Jessica petitioned for the dissolution back in February of 2012 and the couple had a Marriage Settlement Agreement in place. The system, meaning lawyers and the court, were obviously slow to process a done deal. Penner found the way to get them all to pick up their respective games a notch.

The motion was granted September 9.

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Tonight’s Game:
Phoenix @ Anaheim, 7:00pm start at the Honda Center. Audio stream available at http://ducks.nhl.com/index.html

The previous post, A look at the intangibles really begins this blog’s Ducks coverage of the 2013-14 season. If you haven’t at least skimmed it yet, you’ll be better equipped to understand this one and forthcoming posts through training camp.

At first blush, swapping out Daniel Winnick from the “checking line” for Emerson Etem would indicate a slightly different role for Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano. It ain’t necessarily so. All three forwards are proven penalty killers and defensively responsible. The move should improve scoring from the checking line. As Coach noted, “Their speed will give opposing teams fits.” Some sandpaper is sacrificed but Etem’s overall toughness shouldn’t be underrated.
The skill sets are complimentary. As noted all are defensively responsible and great skaters. Koivu and Cogliano are decent playmakers and finishers. Etem is a promising sniper.

One move this blogger has been waiting for and referenced here previously more than once is trying Daniel Winnick at center. Now wwe understand why that hasn’t happened until now.  “We wanted to try this last year, but there was just never a break, and we didn’t want to throw him into the fire.” Boudreau added, “He’s going to stay there for a while, at center, during the preseason,”
With Patrick Maroon and Devante Smith-Pelly on the wings, Winnick could well result in a very physical Stopper Line reminiscent of Pahlsson, Niedermayer & Moen.
Memo to fourth line center hopefuls Peter Holland, Rickard Rakell and Antoine Laganiere: Pick it up a notch!

Notice we have comments from Coachevidencing his thinking on the aforementioned opportunities. Now for one that isn’t being talked about in the blogs or reported on by mainstream media:

Where does Kyle Palmieri fit? Is he Bobby Ryan 2.0? The guy we never find a spot for and instead move him around and ask him to spark whatever line he happens to be on that shift? Jeez, I hope not.
In the early going at least Dustin Penner hasn’t played himself off the top line. Bones, Flash and Silfver are developing chemistry and producing results. The 3rd and 4th lines could be set.
Palmieri has earned more than a 4th line role. He’s aiming to become The Twins linemate. To earn that plum he’ll have to prove himself better than Penner and overcome locker room politics. Not an easy task for a guy who has only recently established his NHL cred.
Boudreau wouldn’t reveal his lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener against Phoenix (7 p.m., Honda Center), but said “we’ve got the first three games mapped out, in a perfect world, and all seven games mapped out for the goalies.”

Note to credentialed local media: The only reason we don’t have an answer to, “Where Palmieri fits” is because you aren’t asking the question. Aside to readers: Credentialed media claims the main reason for lost audience is increased competition. Just once I’d like them to consider the quality of their reportage.

Note to me: Exhale 😉

Three of the above quotes can be found in this report by Kyle Shohara of AnaheimDucks.com.

This report is translated from the original Finnish newspaper Iltalehti.fi. The reporter, Pekka Jolanin reports that Teemu is readying himself for a return to the NHL, but not necessarily to our Ducks.

Selanne has not yet made a final decision in respect of the next season. All, however, indicate very strongly that Teemu’s career will continue for at least a year.
– In front is the biggest decision of my career. I have three options that I can choose from, Selanne said.
Ridge options most likely to have continued in Anaheim. The other two options are to play in another NHL club or career termination.

Play for another NHL team? At least now Bob Murray’s out of the blue comment that, “I’ll do whatever is necessary to sign Teemu” make sense.

This is what happens when people are less than forthright. If Teemu wants to play elsewhere that’s his right and his business. But if Bob Murray hadn’t been gaming the situation, dropping hints at every turn that our Ducks are heading in a different direction, we could have had a clean break.

Yes, I have confirmed the story. It’s the first time since our Ducks Cup win that Teemu has stated publicly that he might sign to play elsewhere. The Winnipeg Jets would welcome him back but they have even less cap room than our Ducks do.

I’m told that Teemu plans on meeting with Coach Boudreau and GM Bob Murray upon his return to SoCal. He will be looking for a commitment that will include top six minutes, 19-21 minutes per game and 1st unit PP time. If he doesn’t get that he will look to going to Winnipeg or elsewhere.

It’s all well and good that Teemu will meet with the Coach and the GM but what about the Captain and his sidekick? They want Penner. What happens in the room if Teemu pushes Pancake down the depth chart? Do The Twins still get Flash the puck? This is the junk that can happen when ownership gets between management and the players.

Now regardless of what happens, Teemu Selanne’s status is needlessly very messy. It’s certainly no way to run a railroad. At least not if you want the trains arriving and departing on time.

Does anyone really think that if Bob Murray wanted Teemu back that he wouldn’t have kept more cap room available? And if Flash returns at this point the possible outcomes are negative. (1) He risks losing his top six TOI to one of Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri and/or Dustin Penner or (2) He wins or is given a top six job and his presence inhibits the development of Etem or Palmieri.

The lure of one last Olympic tournament is compelling. Ducks fans will recall that Scot Niedermayer played at least one additional year primarily so that he could compete in the 2010 Olympics.

This is the disastrous example of what can happen when ownership over rides management. When Nieds was talked out of retiring at the then unheard of, take your time deciding plan, so what if we have to remake the team to accommodate his return, we will and we did.

And here we are again with Teemu Selanne holding up the team from moving forward.

Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and many others have noted that nobody is bigger than the game or the team. Henry Samueli has changed that dynamic.

It’s really beginning to sound like that Meatloaf diddy:

I want you, I need you
But there ain’t no way
I’m ever gonna love you, now
Don’t feel sad, ‘cuz
2 out of 3 ain’t bad

First Murray doesn’t leave cap room, then yesterday NHL.com reports, ”

“If he’s sure he wants it bad, then we’ll make it work,” Murray said. “Whatever I have to do. I don’t care when he tells me. We’ll find a way. We’ve got lots of cap space [and] we have enough contract [room].”

Who is this putz to question Teemu Selanne’s desire? His professionalism? I’ve occasionally referred to Bob Murray as a B Market Bozo and he continues to live down to that estimate.

And how does he make cap room? Another salary dump? Send one of Penner, Cogliano or Sbisa to Norfolk? Maybe Teemu will play for the league minimum?

The thing here is, if you think a guy is done and you don’t want him back at least show him, yourself, your employer and your employer’s customers enough respect to say so. Teemu at least, deserves that much.

CBS Sports also thought the Murray’s comment newsworthy. A poster had an interesting comment:

redwings1969

Teemu is a first ballot hall of famer and one of the best to ever play in the NHL.   Unfortunately though he’s just not the same player anymore ( can’t be at 43) and regressed in a big way last year.  The overall stats don’t even tell the story, not at all.   This 12-12-24 line is actually flattering to say the least.   After he scored 5 goals and 16 points in his first 18 games the last 2 months of the season didn’t go so well for him.   In his last 28 games Teemu only scored 7 goals and added 1 assist to that for a total of 8 points during that time period.   In a league with a hard cap unless he agrees to play for 1 million dollars I don’t think he should come back.  If he couldn’t produce for the final 2 months of a 48 game season, how can he produce for 82 games at 43 years old?

Who knows what caused Teemu’s slump as the season wound down. What I saw is that he paced himself. He can still jet through the neutral zone. What he didn’t do was make the sharp quick cuts and dekes. Guys who Teemu deked out of their cups just a year before were now timing him and tying him up.
In other words, the north/south speed is still there but the agility wasn’t. The problem with Teemu’s slump is that he wasn’t getting as many scoring chances. He couldn’t put himself in position to score as often.
This contrasts to Corey Perry’s playoff scoring slump that wasn’t the result of fewer chances. All players will tell you that so long as the chances are coming they try not to be concerned about slumps.

I shoot straight enough to recognize what I don’t know. I don’t know what caused Teemu’s slump. Was it Bonino going out with his injury? The compressed schedule? An undisclosed injury?

I do know what I saw though.

Yesterday, czhokej and I indulged a rare chance to hang out, share a salad, flirt with waitresses and chat Ducks hockey. The food was tasty, the waitresses good sports and the chat compelling. Here are some quick hits:

First up was the top line and all the events surrounding it. New contracts to Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The Bobby Ryan trade. The signing of Dustin Penner. cz pointed out that Dustin Penner was the top scorer on the Kid Line during our Ducks Cup year.  Pancake was brought in to stabilize the top line. If he’s successful much of the day-to-day roster and roles fall into place. If not, coach will continue to rotate guys off and on, in and out through a seemingly endless search for consistency.

A couple of minutes into the now annual is Teemu coming back, we realized we weren’t sure where he would play. As if to punctuate the moment a mushroom rolled off my fork. Saku’s role has changed and Teemu isn’t a checking line player. First line? For now Dustin Penner is penciled in alongside the Big Dogs. Second line? Does he have enough left to beat out the up and coming Emerson Etem? First unit PP? Teemu lost that job to Nick Bonino and Bobby Ryan last season. When he did get first unit PP line it came when Getzlaf was moved to the point.

If Penner fails, maybe Teemu is the solution on the top line. Much of Penner’s success or lack thereof actually depends on which Getzlaf hits the ice in October. Is it the dominating player we saw during the shortened season or do we get his evil twin, the perimeter playing Giveaway Getz who glides around the ice instead of skating? Eight million doesn’t seem to buy what it used to get you.

While I see Ducks Iron Man Andrew Cogliano as trade bait, we wondered if he would return to the checking line. Cogliano and Emerson Etem showed genuine chemistry on the PK. Could they continue to be a dangerous duo in ES situations?

Coach has said he expects bigger things from Matt Beleskey next season. Could Matt produce those “bigger things” alongside Koivu & Winick? Beleskey would be the shooter and adds a physical element to the checking line.

Nick Bonino will center a line. There’s plenty of competition among his potential linemates. Selanne, Etem are the leading candidates on RW. Palmieri, Silfverberg on LW.

cz notes that Cam Fowler was much improved defensively last season. I noted Scot Niedermayer’s influence as Cam seemed to be taking that rover-D role and trying to control the tempo when he has the puck.

We both hope for more offense from the back line. I see it coming from a luckier and less snake bit Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen. cz is keeping faith with Luca Sbisa. We think Sheldon Souray will take a few games off in back to back and 3 games in 4 nights situations. Though he and Beauchemin should be counted on for 5-6 goals.

The goaltending is solid to spectacular.

Replacing Bobby Ryan and possibly Teemu Selanne won’t be easy. Still, these Ducks could be a real offensive powerhouse next season. Consider, Perry 35-40, Getzlaf 25, Penner, Etem & Palmieri 20+, Bonino, Cogliano, Silfverberg 15+, Koivu, Beleskey 12, Fowler & Vatanen 10. That’s over 200 goals without anybody having a career year or exceeding expectations. Add a handful of goals each from Beauchemin, Souray, Sbisa and the fourth line. All of a sudden we’re enjoying a team that can score anywhere and anytime.

With excellent goaltending behind them the 2013-14 Ducks are a well-organized team primed for success.

As discussed with czhokej, the Dustin Penner signing certainly changes the on ice look of our Ducks. Pancake fell out of favor during his time in Edmonton and L.A. He sat with down with GM Bob Murray and gave acceptable point by point explanations for how his career nose-dived following his departure from Anaheim via offer sheet during the summer of 2007.

Wow, was that really six years ago? During those ensuing years Ducks tried a succession of guys, including Todd Bertuzzi, Evgeny Artyukhin, Brad Winchester, Jarkko Ruutu and of course Bobby Ryan. Only Ryan surpassed Penner in offense. None of those ever replaced him as a complete power forward package.

If Penner washes out here as he did in Edmonton and L.A., he unceremoniously slides down the depth chart until he’s a healthy scratch, gets waived or is part of a trade. At $2m for one year, Pancake doesn’t represent a big investment or risk.

Should Honda Center prove to be Dustin Penner’s happy place, lookout cookout as John Ahlers likes to say. Pancake returns to our Ducks with the respect and affection of team leaders Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin, all his teammates from the Cup team. He doesn’t enter the room in a getting to know everybody mode.

Notice though that while Penner has their respect and affection, he’ll have to earn their trust. To do that he must produce.

Here’s a capsulized look at our Ducks lines and pairings with the current roster.

Getzlaf-Penner-Perry/Fowler-Lovejoy: Can’t imagine Gabby will put the Souray-Beauchemin out there with the top line. The Big Dogs are already arguably the slowest top line in the NHL. Jeez, a five man unit where Beauchemin is the fastest skater? Not likely. Lovejoy is very questionable in a top 2 defender role.

Bonino-Silfverberg-Etem/Souray-Beauchemin: Obviously this should be posted in pencil as it is subject to change. Bones will be challenged by Holland, Silfverberg by Palmieri and Etem by Teemu Selanne, if Flash returns. No certainty Souray is a lock for top four ES-TOI either.

Koivu-Winnick-Cogliano/Allen-Sbisa: The checking line is likely set for a return engagement. Sbisa will be challenged and maybe dropped a notch or two down the depth chart in favor of Vatanen and/or Lindholm.

Holland-Palmieri-Beleskey: Look like the leading candidates for fourth line duty. Rakell could slip past Holland. Palmieri might be traded. Beleskey seems like the only one we can ink in. Devante Smith-Pelley could challenge Beleskey but Coach likes my Homey and envisions an envisions a larger role for Matt.

It’s crowded between the pipes as Hiller, Fasth, Andersen and Gibson will each get a good look and eval from our Ducks brain trust.

Intangibles and possible surprises:

At select-a-seat Gabby described Nick Bonino as a very hard-working hockey player. Bones may lose his spot on the depth chart but somebody will have to beat him out of it.

– Again, Dustin Penner enjoyed his best season in the NHL as a center. Both he and Silfverberg could be options. Peter Holland, Rickard Rakell and Andrew Cogliano are also in the mix. Long shot Antoine Laganiere impressed me at conditioning camp.

– Cam Fowler did everything but light it up last season. His break through year should come in one of the next two seasons.

– Another significant trade could come at any time after the brain trust determines that we need an upgrade. Likely positions are 2nd line center and top 4 D.

– With Bobby Ryan traded, our new odd Duck appears to be Kyle Palmieri. He’s been given a qualifying offer. Ducks don’t have to negotiate with him. For a guy they express confidence in though, Kyle is certainly being treated like the proverbial red-headed step child.

– A key factor heading into his first full season as head coach will be stabilizing, within a reasonable degree of coaching discretion, player roles. This should be accomplished by the 20 game mark of the season.

Our Ducks look to ice 3 scoring lines and a checking line. Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne won’t be replaced easily. The secondary scoring could come by committee. We certainly have quality scoring depth. Still, our Ducks have the look of a one line team. If we don’t get at least 65 goals out of the top line, these Ducks won’t make the playoffs.

The parts are there for the makings of a playoff team. If the team comes together. They may have the horses to do more.

These are now Ryan Getzlaf’s Anaheim Ducks. If he isn’t ready to go full bore in October well…..it’s going to be a long season with a quick death.

Note: Anaheim Calling blogger Chris D-5 did a nice job capturing quotes at Select-a-seat. It’s a pretty good read.

Following Penner’s signing, OCR beat writer Eric ‘Ice” Stephens tweeted that “friend and ex-teammate Ryan Getzlaf  pushed for return.”

It isn’t unusual that the captain of the team, making more than $8m per year would have a little juice inside the org. What happened next though is the stuff of intrigue.

Bob Murray took the liberty of speaking for coach Bruce Boudreau on how Penner will be used. L.A. Times reporter Lance Pugmire reported:

Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said he and Coach Bruce Boudreau “really hope” Penner can join Getzlaf and Perry and provide “stabilization” to what has been a revolving door.

“It would sure make things easier for us,” Murray said.

It could well be that Bob Murray is accurately relating the sentiments of his head Coach. Call me skeptical. If so though, it contrasts with everything Gabby has told us about how he organizes his forward lines. Like many others, Gabby relies on set twosomes and moves a third guy on and off a line. Granted most often, a coach will adapt his philosophy according to the roster.

IF, Ducks GM Bob Murray isn’t accurately reflecting the sentiments of his coach, which I suspect is the case, it can only indicate one thing. The Captain is using the GM to send a cryptic message to the Coach. Getzlaf isn’t just “pushing for Penner.” Getz is trying to influence where Penner will fit on the team.

We’re not talking any coach here. While many a coach has a tough guy rep, Bruce Boudreau has the gravitas to bench a two-time Hart Trophy winner. Gabby also reduced face of the franchise Teemu Selanne’s TOI down the stretch and in the playoffs.

It’s one thing to talk tough. Living it is quite another.

Ducks commitment to Ryan Getzlaf is for eight years. The commitment to Bruce Boudreau is two years. Should push come to shove, the org is invested in Getzlaf. And he (Getz) knows it.

On the other hand, Bruce Boudreau has been active in hockey longer than Ryan Getzlaf has been alive. Getz doesn’t have a move that Gabby hasn’t seen or tried himself.

With Getzlaf expanding and exercising his newly found juice, the Ducks room just got a lot more interesting.