Sutter: Penner ‘hasn’t played well enough,’ but will remain in Kings lineup


Dustin Penner is back in Darryl Sutter’s doghouse.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

Following Tuesday’s “sloppy” shootout loss to the Sharks, Sutter took issue with Penner’s play as of late — but said he wasn’t going to park the burly winger like he did earlier in the year.

“[Penner’s] going to have to play a lot better,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “We’re trying to make the playoffs here, and it’s similar to last year where we just made a decision later in the year that we were going to play him and basically see what happens, and that’s kind of what I’m doing now.”

Penner has just two goals and 12 points in 29 games this season, and was a healthy scratch seven times at the beginning of the season.

(As Lisa Dillman of the LA Times notes: “If you examine a wider sample, [Penner] has nine goals in 94 games since the start of last season.”)

The 6-foot-4, 242-pound forward only recently came back from a lower-body injury, and is still trying to find his form.

But Tuesday’s effort against San Jose didn’t offer much optimism, as Penner went minus-1 with one shot on goal in just over 11 minutes of ice time.

Sutter said benching Penner again isn’t an option.

The Kings (53 points) are comfortably in a playoff spot — six points up on ninth-place Detroit — but could easily fall down the ladder given San Jose (53 points), Minnesota (51) and St. Louis (50) are all right on their heels.

“There’s no deep, dark answer or anything like that,” Sutter said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. How’s he played? He hasn’t played well enough.

“But that’s obvious — we’ve played 40 games and he’s got two goals.”

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith