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?

Andrew Hammond to start Game 5 for Avalanche

AP
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When the Colorado Avalanche hit the ice in Nashville on Friday night they will be facing elimination. They will also need to rely on their third-string goalie to help get them a win if they are going to extend their season.

The team announced on Thursday that Andrew Hammond will be getting the start, replacing Jonathan Bernier who had to leave Wednesday’s game after two periods with a lower body injury. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Bernier’s injury has been a nagging one and that he could still be available off the bench on Friday if needed.

The Avalanche had been starting Bernier because their regular starter, Semyon Varlamov, is out for the remainder of the season due to a lower body injury of his own.

Obviously, this puts the Avalanche in a pretty tough spot. Not only because they have to go on the road against the Presidents’ Trophy winning Predators, but also because they have to turn to a goalie that, including Wednesday’s brief relief appearance, has appeared in just eight NHL games over the past two years. He has faced only 127 shots in those appearances and managed only an .874 save percentage.

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

 Hammond’s career has been a fascinating one to this point.

Late in the 2014-15 season he came out of nowhere as a 25-year-old rookie to lead the Ottawa Senators on an improbable late season run (where Hammond put together a 20-1-2 record) to qualify for the playoffs. Nicknamed “the Hamburglar,” his initial run in Ottawa was highlighted by fans throwing hamburgers on the ice to celebrate his wins.  That run earned him a contract extension with the Senators and a bunch of free hamburgers from McDonalds. It was a crazy year.

After that, though, injuries and a decline in his production have limited him to just a handful of appearances in the NHL.

The Avalanche acquired him from the Senators earlier this season as part of the Matt Duchene trade.

Now he has to jump into the crease in an elimination game.

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Predators’ Ryan Hartman to have hearing after illegal check to the head

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Ryan Hartman had a tough night at the office on Wednesday night and will have to answer to the NHL’s Department of Player Safety because of it.

Hartman’s hearing stems from a charging penalty he was assessed after lining up Colorado Avalanche forward Carl Soderberg‘s head with his shoulder at the 4:42 mark of the third period.

Soderberg was forced to leave the game after the play.

Earlier in the game, Hartman tried to line up Sven Andrighetto from a mile out in the second period but missed, prompting the latter to come and give Hartman some business, which included a stick below the belt to Hartman.

The Predators took Game 4 by a 3-2 margin, holding off a third-period comeback attempt from the Avalanche to take a 3-1 series lead.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Seinfeld’s Puddy attends Devils game to ‘support the team’

NJ Devils on Twitter
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The man known affectionately as Puddy (aka actor Patrick Warburton) was in New Jersey last night trying to rile up the Devils prior to Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You’ll remember Puddy, the face-painted Devils fan from the hit TV show Seinfeld, for such lines as, ‘We’re the Devils… The Devils’ and ‘Don’t mess with the Devils. We can beat anybody.’

That’s pretty much it, but he didn’t need to say much else to become an instant cult classic among Devils fans.

Warburton resurrected the character on Wednesdat night, doing his best to get the Devils and their fans amped up prior to the game.

Unfortunately for New Jersey, the tactic didn’t pay off as the Lightning took a 3-1 series lead on the back of a 3-1 win.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

PHT Morning Skate: Ducks wake-up call; Crosby passes Lemieux

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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.
• For Ducks, getting swept should be a wake-up call (Los Angeles Times)

• Takeaways: an unlikely hero emerges as Sharks sweep Ducks (San Jose Mercury News)

Sidney Crosby passes Mario Lemieux for Penguins’ playoff points lead (USA Today)

• The Penguins are still too much for the Flyers (SB Nation)

• Hey, Saint Patrick. It’s a sin you missed how Avs refused to quit in 3-2 loss against Nashville. (Denver Post)

• In defying odds, Golden Knights’ success is not so good for sports books (USA Today)

Marc-Andre Fleury‘s ex-teammates with Penguins happy for his success in playoffs (NHL.com)

• Bodog: Golden Knights are Cup favourites (TSN.ca)

• Foligno brothers savouring first simultaneous NHL post-season (Toronto Star)

Blake Wheeler‘s path to being an elite player in the NHL took a winding road (Winnipeg Sun)

• How a financial advisor became the NHL’s only active black official (Sportsnet)

• Bill Peters has the inside track in Calgary, but there’s a lot of local blood to consider (The Hockey News)

• Von Miller just discovered hockey and he is WAY into it (The Loop)

• Humboldt Broncos tribute concert aims to bring in NHL players, alumni (Sportsnet)

• Town puts ‘giant hockey stick on our porch’ in Humboldt tribute (CBC)

• The case for each Vezina Trophy finalist — and a few snubs (The Hockey News)

• Why the Stanley Cup gets names removed every 13 years (Sportsnet)

• Up top, watch how the Penguins are coming alive in the postseason and the energy being displayed by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should be worrying their opponents.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck