Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

He's Dustin the wind

Penner headed back to SoCal as an L.A. King

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The rumours in recent weeks had Dustin Penner going just about everywhere, but it was the Los Angeles Kings who ended up snagging the big scoring forward from the Edmonton Oilers before the NHL trade deadline Monday.

The Oilers got defence prospect Colten Teubert, a first-round draft pick in 2011 and a conditional 2012 second rounder for the 28-year-old Penner.

It was the biggest move of an interesting, but not very active, deadline day that also saw the Washington Capitals pick up veteran centre Jason Arnott from New Jersey and defenceman Dennis Wideman from Florida.

In all, 35 players and 12 draft picks changed hands in the 16 deals made before the 2 p.m. CT cutoff, the lowest total since 23 players were dealt in 12 transactions on deadline day in 2000.

The Panthers were the busiest team, moving four players -- Wideman, Radek Dvorak, Bryan Allen, Chris Higgins -- to go along with the three they had already dealt away in recent days. But they didn't deal goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Dallas Stars centre Brad Richards also stayed put.

The six-foot-four, 245-pound Penner still owns a home in California from his time with the Anaheim Ducks, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2007.

The Winkler, Man., native arrived in Edmonton the following season sporting a US$21 million, five-year contract that has one more season to run. After scoring 23 goals his in his first campaign with the Oilers, Penner dipped to 17 in 2008-09 before rebounding last season with career-highs of 32 goals and 63 points.

He has 21 goals in 61 games in 2010-11 and was sought by just about every team looking for offence.

"I came here with a big contract," Penner said in Edmonton after the deal was completed. "That also comes with big expectations and if I tried to meet everyone's expectations I would drive myself insane.

"So I focused on becoming more consistent, and a player who could play every position. I think I'm on my way to that. I'm not there yet and it's too bad I won't be able to do it here."

The Capitals got exactly what they were seeking in Arnott, who can slot in as second-line centre, and Wideman, who can play the point in the absence of the injured Mike Green.

"Dennis Wideman is a good power-play guy, a good puck mover," said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2011 D1

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