The Ducks have signed left wing Dustin Penner
to a one-year contract through the 2013-14 NHL season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
Penner, 30 (9/28/82), has scored 137-138=275 points with 324 penalty minutes (PIM) in 522 career NHL games with Anaheim, Edmonton and Los Angeles. A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Ducks (2007) and Kings (2012), Penner has earned 13-22=35 points with a +19 rating and 58 PIM in 78 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Originally signed by Anaheim as a free agent on May 12, 2004, Penner scored 33-19=52 points with a +1 rating and 72 PIM in 101 career games with the Ducks from 2005-07. The 6-4, 242-pound winger helped lead Anaheim to a Stanley Cup championship in 2007 and a Western Conference Final appearance in 2006, earning 6-11=17 points with 14 PIM in 34 postseason games. In his first full NHL season in 2006-07, Penner ranked second on the Ducks in goals (29) and set the franchise rookie record for most points (45), goals, power-play goals (9) and games played (82) in a single season.
A native of Winkler, Manitoba, Penner scored 3-2=5 points with a +4 rating and eight PIM in 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games for Los Angeles this spring. He also appeared in 33 regular-season games for the Kings in 2012-13, earning 2-12=14 points with 18 PIM.
Penner spoke to the media via conference call from his offseason home in Newport Beach on Tuesday afternoon:
On coming back to Anaheim and the possibility of playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry
I’m excited about having a chance to play with those guys again. I started my career here in Anaheim. I’ve always wanted to come back. I think a lot of players that break in with a certain team always have that yearning to come back once they leave, because there’s so much familiarity with the area.
On how the contract talks transpired
After last year, I probably had the chance to come back, but I wanted to stay and spend [time] with the Cup in L.A. with the Kings. After this year, I knew pretty much once that period started where teams can contact you before free agency, I knew back then there was a chance I could come back to the Ducks. I was weighing my options and seeing what would be the best fit. It was a tough decision for me. It’s tough leaving a team you won a Cup with, but I’m going back to a team I won a Cup with.
On if he knew he’d eventually make a return to the Ducks
Yes, I did. It was just one of those things I felt in my gut. It was really tough for me to leave back then. It took me almost two weeks to sign the offer sheet. I talked to a lot of people in my circle, and that was probably the best thing to do. They always said you could always come back, and now I got my chance.
On the prior success of playing on a line with Getzlaf and Perry
We’re all big guys that can control the puck down low and score. It’s been a while, and hopefully there’s a chance for us to rekindle that chemistry we used to have, but they have a lot of really good players on the Ducks. Bonino, Beleskey, Cogliano, Koivu, and a great defensive core. They were a tough team last year. I like the situation I’m walking into.
On his assessment of his time with the Kings
I wish I could’ve contributed more, frequently and consistently on a personal level. I had a great time with L.A. Made a lot of great relationships that will span my lifetime. Winning a Cup in a city that hadn’t won one in 45 years, doesn’t get better than that.
On the possibility of rekindling his chemistry with the Ducks
Just past experiences. It’s a pretty good predictor of the future. Not all the time, but hopefully more times than not, and maybe in this case I hope it is that way. I still remain good friends with Getz and Pears and played against them a lot, and I’ve always wanted to come back here. I talked to Getzy a bit, and it’s great it worked out.
On if he was told he would play with Getzlaf and Perry on the top line
No, but that ultimately comes down from the coach. I’m going to show up to camp and see where the chips fall.
On his thoughts about Bruce Boudreau
I was a big fan of his on HBO 24/7. I’ve talked to him before one-on-one, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about him. I’ve known of him since my days back in Portland when he was coaching Hershey. He’s got a really good pedigree and all of his players, the guys I’ve talked to, really like playing for him.
On what kind of player he is compared to his last stint in Anaheim
I think I’ve become better defensively. I think I can play to the level I played before in Edmonton. I just needed a different situation, and hopefully this is the one I needed. Time will tell. I can’t really predict the future.
On talking to Getzlaf before signing
Getzy called me and said I should come back. I’ve known him for years and we have the same agents and circle of friends. I’ve known there was a distinct possibility of coming back to the Ducks, and having the captain by your side doesn’t hurt.