While the Kings are slumping and not doing much in the way of scoring or preventing goals, there is one constant for L.A.: Dustin Penner continues to be one of their consistently bad forwards and there are no signs of things getting turned around.
Penner’s stats this season are abysmal. Through 12 games he has but one assist and no goals. He’s been moved up and down the lines in an effort to find a way to both rejuvenate him and to punish him for bad play. Penner frustrating his team with his poor play is nothing new. He’s done it in Anaheim and Edmonton before winding up in Los Angeles and for the Kings, having a guy making first or second line money and playing like a guy that belongs in the press box is frustrating.
Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times highlights Penner’s poor play as one of the Kings’ most noticeable issues during their 1-4-2 losing streak of late and her take on things is pointed towards GM Dean Lombardi to find a way to help things along.
First he will have to curb Kings Coach Terry Murray’s compulsive line juggling, which hasn’t spurred Dustin Penner’s production. But that might require a miracle, not a remix.
A miracle for Penner? Ouch. Luckily this is the last year on his contract, a deal that comes with a $4.25 million cap hit. If Lombardi can find a taker for him, it might be their best solution. Unless Terry Murray figures out a magic line combination or a better way to motivate Penner, this is a problem that will linger like a foul odor.