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Finally a blockbuster: Kings nab Dustin Penner for Colten Teubert, two quality draft picks

If you’ve been dying for a “real” trade during a mostly slow deadline, Los Angeles Kings GM Deal Lombardi finally made it happen. He acquired power forward Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers for a substantial package: hot defensive prospect Colten Teubert, the Kings’ 2011 first round pick and conditional 2012 draft pick.

The draft pick will either be a third rounder or a second round pick for the Oilers depending on how Los Angeles fares this year. Let’s break down this trade for both sides.

From the Kings’ perspective: Penner gives Los Angeles the top six forward they’ve been craving all season. They tried to shoehorn Marco Sturm into that role, but his health failed him to the surprise of few. He might be a bit costly (his $4.25 million cap hit runs out after 2011-12), but Penner is a fantastic fit for the Kings.

Penner is a proven scorer with 126 goals in 405 regular season games and won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07. He’s also one of the true power forwards, as he can be a huge pain to deal with thanks to his offensive skills and impressive 6’4″, 245 lbs. frame.

Obviously, the Kings gave up a lot to get him. Although the two draft picks will be valuable to the Oilers, the toughest loss is Teubert. That being said, Lombardi stockpiled a staggering stream of talented defensive prospects in his system (even beyond pros Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson). The Kings also avoided moving a roster player, which is a plus considering that valuable commodities such as Wayne Simmonds were rumored to be targets for a deal.

Which brings us to Edmonton’s side of the situation.

What the Oilers gain: Amid all the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel talk in Edmonton regarding their offensive prospects, I’ve often wondered how this team will ever learn to keep pucks out of their own net.

Even their best defensemen tend to be more offense-oriented, so getting a potential bruiser like Teubert could be an absolute boon for the Oil. The hard-hitting blueliner has two entry-level years left on his rookie deal because the Kings have been so patient in developing him, another bonus for Edmonton. He’s a 6’4″ defenseman with a first round pedigree, so while blueliners are tough to project, he could be quite the gem for GM Steve Tambellini.

At some point, Edmonton fans will probably grow tired of hearing about picks and prospects versus short term gains, but this was a nice haul. Especially if Penner’s fate was already sealed with the team.

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The Kings gave up a ton for Penner, who isn’t without his warts. Still, they’re supposed to be contenders, so they need to accept the prospect of giving up picks here and there. They traded from a position of strength (young defensemen) to improve an area of weakness (top-six forwards). This is nice work by Lombardi, especially in the short term.

Yet it seems like both teams got what they wanted, because Teubert could be a cornerstone defenseman on a very weak Oilers blueline. If the Kings do well, the Oilers could end up with a first pick this year and a second next, but a third rounder in ’12 isn’t awful either.

In other words, both teams made gains in this deal. The Kings finally showed that they can gamble while the Oilers look much better today than they did on Sunday. Isn’t that all you can really ask for on deadline day?

Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching

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One day after getting benched for showing up late for practice — following an “epic” Super Bowl party, per Sportsnet — Calgary forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma apologized for their actions.

“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”

“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”

More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.

Afterward, Hartley downplayed the incident, saying “it’s not like they robbed a bank,” before adding “they’re great kids.”

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Penguins on Rivalry Night

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
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Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)

You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s tilt:

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

Report: With Byfuglien sticking in Winnipeg, Kings ‘may now turn their attention’ to Ladd

Andrew Ladd, Anze Kopitar
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Maybe Dean Lombardi and Kevin Cheveldayoff still have something to discuss after all.

Sure, those Dustin Byfuglien-to-Los Angeles rumors are now dead — On Monday, Big Buff signed a five-year, $38 million extension with the Jets  — but a new rumor has emerged, one that suggests the Kings are interested in another of Winnipeg’s pending UFAs:

Andrew Ladd.

More, from the Free Press:

The common thinking now regarding Ladd is with Byfuglien now committed to a new five-year, US$38-million extension, the window to re-sign the captain is being slammed shut, especially knowing the young core of Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba and Adam Lowry all become restricted free agents this summer and will earn raises.

[Cheveldayoff], not surprisingly, offered no hints Monday after the Byfuglien announcement. Sources say the Jets and Ladd’s camp have kept communication open, but that hardly means a deal is close to getting done. In fact, if anything, the Byfuglien signing has only cranked up more Ladd speculation, including rumours the Los Angeles Kings — who were also thought to be in on any potential Byfuglien trade discussion — may now turn their attention to the Jets captain.

Ladd’s currently in the last of a five-year, $22 million deal with a $4.4M cap hit and, per TSN senior correspondent Gary Lawless, is seeking a six-year extension “with an average annual value north of $6 million.”

Which explains why the Jets might be forced to move him.

That L.A. is in the mix shouldn’t come as a surprise. Lombardi has a history of swinging for the fences with his deadline acquisitions — Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik and Andrej Sekera, to name a few — and Ladd has a ton of postseason experience, with two Stanley Cups on his resume.

Report: Jets, Ladd break off contract talks

At season’s end, Holland will ‘plot a plan’ to deal with Red Wings’ goalie situation

Detroit Red Wings' Petr Mrazek (34) replaces goalie Jimmy Howard (35) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP)
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“As we wake up today, obviously Petr Mrazek is our number-one guy.”

That was Detroit GM Ken Holland today on TSN 1200 radio in Ottawa, when asked about his goaltending situation.

“Obviously” was the right word to use.

Mrazek, 23, has been brilliant this season, going 20-10-4 with a .933 save percentage. Without him, it’s fair to wonder if the Wings would be in a playoff spot.

But Mrazek, a pending restricted free agent, has also created a problem of sorts for Holland. That’s because 31-year-old Jimmy Howard is already locked up through 2018-19 for a cap hit of almost $5.3 million — and that’s a lot of money to pay a backup, especially one with a .904 save percentage.

Holland said he isn’t focused on that now.

“When the year’s out and I’ve got all the information, I’ll sit down and plot a plan heading into the offseason,” he said. “But for now, we’ve got a top, young goaltender in Petr Mrazek and we’ve got a guy that’s in the prime of his career, Jimmy Howard, that’s been the number-one guy here.

“It’s been tough for [Howard] recently; every time he plays a game he seems to play the second game of a back-to-back. … He’s had some real tough games against some real good teams, hasn’t had a lot of puck luck. Our team really hasn’t played very well for him when he’s been in there, but he keeps battling and he keeps competing.”

The challenge for Holland might be to sell that story to another GM, because Howard’s save percentage has been below the league average the past three seasons.

Related: Howard pulled again, calls his performance ‘unacceptable’