A few more thoughts on Dustin Penner

I went home last night to think through this Penner offer sheet a bit more, but I don't think my conclusion has changed. Here are some stats I've gathered that indicate that Penner should not be Anaheim's highest paid forward next year:
  • Of all the Ducks that played more than 15 games this year (regular season + playoffs), Penner had the worst even-strength goals-against average on the team, and he wasn't even facing the opposition's best scorers.

  • On the power play, Penner was 7th on the team in minutes and 9th on the team in scoring. His PP points-per-hour were the lowest for any forward not on the Pahlsson line.

  • In his NHL career (reg. season + playoffs), Penner has scored a total of 69 points over 135 games. Five other Ducks surpassed that points total last year alone.

  • Despite the Ducks' success in the playoffs, it is interesting to note that Dustin Penner was shut out completely for the month of May (10 games).
All that said, I don't predict Burke very well and I don't think I'd crucify him if he decided to match. It certainly would stretch the budget thin, but despite his flaws, Penner finished second on the team in regular-season goals as a rookie, and certainly should improve his game in the coming years, especially if Bertuzzi can effectively tutor him. Next summer, re-signing Getzlaf and Perry will be a pain regardless of where Penner plays this year, but Burke has shown an ability to ditch salary capably when he's needed to.

If Burke does match, then Penner and Bertuzzi would represent the team's top two salaried forwards, which is strange since neither is naturally assured a top-line spot. I'd probably have to use this nonsense price-per-pound metric to make sense of the salary structure:

Player

Avg. Salary Weight* Price per pound

Todd Bertuzzi

$4,000,000

242 lbs.

$16,529

Dustin Penner

$4,250,000

243 lbs.

$17,490

Andy McDonald

$3,333,333

185 lbs.

$18,018

Chris Pronger

$6,250,000

220 lbs.

$28,409

Mathieu Schneider

$5,625,000

191 lbs.

$29,450

J.S. Giguere

$6,000,000

200 lbs.

$30,000

Scott Niedermayer

$6,750,000

200 lbs.

$33,750

* Player weights taken from NHL.com

So I dunno, my take is still that Burke should take the picks and let the Oilers pay Penner, but I don't feel as strongly about it as I did yesterday. All offseason, I have been excited to see the first instance where Pronger throws a snapshot through a Penner-and-Bertuzzi 485-pound double-screen, so maybe that's clouding my judgment some.

In any event, I still should poke some fun at the L.A. Times online edition, who added a silly picture-question to their Penner story:

Uh, nice proofreading, guys, but I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Francois Beauchemin stays...

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