EDMONTON -- Dustin Penner
had heard his name attached to several rumors heading into the NHL trade deadline, but said the Edmonton Oilers
' decision to trade him to the Los Angeles Kings
still took him by surprise.
Penner, 28, in his fourth season with the Oilers after being acquired from Anaheim by way of an offer sheet in the summer of 2007, was dealt to the Kings for defenseman Colten Teubert
, a first-round draft choice in 2011 and a conditional third-round pick in 2012.
"I'm sad to leave," Penner said. "I think like everybody here, I felt we were building something.
"I didn't expect to get traded. It's interesting. I haven't been in this position before, especially being at the rink, so … it's been kind of a daze, I guess I would say."
Penner, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound right winger, scored 32 goals with the Oilers last season and had 21 this season when the trade was done with the Kings.
Despite being productive -- seasons of 23, 17, 32 and 21 goals with the Oilers -- Penner seemed to have a love-hate relationship with fans in Edmonton. While Penner has a great scoring touch for a big man, the knock on him has been his inconsistency and willingness to be physical.
"With big contracts and big money, there also comes big expectations," said Penner, who will make $4.25 million next season, the final year of the five-year contract he signed with Edmonton. "If I tried to meet everybody's expectations, I think I'd drive myself clinically insane.
"I focused on becoming more consistent and a player who could play in every position. I think I'm on my way to that. I'm not where I want to be yet. It's too bad I won't be able to do it here."
Despite the tension of deadline day, Penner's trademark dry sense of humor remained intact when he faced reporters -- specifically when he was asked about a false report that had him being traded to Montreal not long before the Los Angeles deal was announced.
"As far as the trade rumors, I've already been traded once from here," he said. "The second time, it worked. I was surprised, but I don't think anything can prepare you for something like this."
As for going to Los Angeles, former Oiler teammates Jarret Stoll
and Matt Greene
are there, so he's not going in cold. Plus, he's familiar with the sunny climes of southern California and he still owns a home there.
"It's probably one of the better places I could go to, I think, just as far as having a house down there and I have a car. I don't have to take a cab and lose my phone like (Joffrey) Lupul," a smiling Penner said.
"There are some positives, but it's always tough, I think. Any guy who has been traded, I think, would feel the same way."
While some fans will welcome the trade of Penner as a necessary part of rebuilding the Oilers, others, no doubt, are unhappy to see him go for an unproven prospect like Teubert and draft picks.
"I'm in the paper more often than not here," Penner said. "Some good. Some bad.
"My tenure here? With life, there's ups and downs. I had a decent first year. The second year, I think, was something people would like to forget. The last two, I've enjoyed thoroughly."