The Anaheim Ducks will open training camp Thursday with a reunited top line of Dustin Penner, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
Penner is back with Anaheim after playing the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. During the 2006-07 season, he, Getzlaf and Perry played together often during the Ducks' run to the Stanley Cup.
"I think I'll be given a bit more of an opportunity here, playing with guys that are more prone to cycling the puck and wearing down the opposition," Penner told The Associated Press on Wednesday at Honda Center. "For whatever reason, we clicked instantly when we were put together, and we all joined the Ducks, and even in the minors in Portland. We just have that unspoken bond when we're on the ice together."
Coach Bruce Boudreau is hopeful Penner can regain his scoring touch after getting nine goals in 98 games over the past two seasons.
"I'm not trying to cure him, or say, 'Hey, listen, I'll make him a better player,'" Boudreau told the AP. "But the potential of playing with teammates that he knew and had success with, of knowing where he stands on the totem pole as far as right now, he's first-line left wing, maybe it's a motivating factor that will make him be the guy we think he can be."
After scoring 29 goals for the Ducks in 2006-07, Penner signed with the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent and played three-plus seasons there before he was traded to Los Angeles.
"I didn't want to leave [Anaheim], and it was a long, arduous process that lasted about two weeks," Penner said. "[My agent] said, 'There's a good chance you'll always end up back here.' That's always the thought that was in the back of my mind when I signed, because every hockey player thinks his career is going to last long, and I was planning on mine lasting long and somehow working my way around to getting here again."