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.
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?