Dustin Penner

Let’s fire up the “Dustin Penner to Ottawa” rumors


From Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun:

Much criticism and many jokes have been made about Dustin “Pancake” Penner, but it wouldn’t come as a shock if Senators GM Bryan Murray shows interest in the 6-foot-4, 240-pound (on a good day) Los Angeles winger when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The two have a history, and Penner is proving in these playoffs that he still has some game. The native of Winkler, Man. has two goals and five assists in nine post-season games, helping the Kings earn the first berth in the final four.

Some key points of the Penner-Sens correlation:

— After going undrafted out of the University of Maine, Penner was inked to a free agent contract in 2004 by Anaheim’s GM…Bryan Murray.

— In 2006-07, Penner scored 29 goals for Anaheim and eight points in 21 playoff games. The Ducks won the Cup that year by defeating the Senators, who were coached by…Bryan Murray.

— “Don’t forget that in 2009, Murray had Penner included in a package he was getting for Dany Heatley,” Brennan writes. “Before the latter exorcised a clause in his contract and nixed the deal.”

— Ottawa could use some size up front. The closest they’ve got to Penner’s 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame is Milan Michalek (6-2, 225) and Jason Spezza (6-3, 216).

— Penner’s in the final year of a deal that pays $4.5 million annually and will almost certainly be taking a haircut as a UFA. The Sens could have as much as $37 million in available cap space.

Feel free to speculate and/or make IHOP jokes in the comments section.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?