LOS ANGELES -- Dustin Penner wants to wear the crown for at least another year.
Penner said Thursday that he wants to re-sign with the Los Angeles Kings and indicated he would take less money to do so. Penner is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Penner said of the chances of returning to the Stanley Cup champions, "I'd say they're pretty good. I want to be back." Asked if he would settle for something different in regards to his salary, he said yes.
Penner had a salary cap hit of $4.25 million this past season. He came to the Kings from the Edmonton Oilers in a 2011 trade deadline deal for a first-round pick in 2011, prospect Colten Teubert and a conditional second- or third-round pick in 2012.
Penner was not only quiet for most of this regular season, he had knee and hand injuries and a back injury and was a healthy scratch as recently as February. His play drew sharp criticism from new coach Darryl Sutter.
But Penner awakened during the Kings' run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs and was promoted to the second line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter at the end of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks. He had seven goals and 10 assists in 65 regular-season games but finished with 11 points in 20 playoff games, including the series-clinching goal against the Phoenix Coyotes in the conference finals.
Penner is among three impending unrestricted free agents on L.A., along with centers Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser. The club's first priority likely will be to sign goaltender Jonathan Quick to a long-term extension. Quick is currently signed through next season to a deal that pays him $1.8 million annually.
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