Lombardi makes his most significant move
By THOMAS LAROCCA
Feb. 28, 2011
At the NHL trade deadline, Kings GM Dean Lombardi did something he very rarely does and dipped into the team's future to support its present.
Lombardi and the Los Angeles Kings acquired forward Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers for defensive prospect Colten Teubert, drafted No. 13 overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, a first-round pick in 2011 and a conditional third-round pick in 2012.
"I think one of the things that drives this, though, is we're pretty proud of our team, with the way we came out of that second slide," Lombardi told reporters at Kings practice following the deal. It looks like we've grown, we've learned from our mistakes, and this is one of those times where you look at your team and you say, `You know what? They deserve some help' and strengthen our locker room and make us a better team. That's part of the thing. You've heard me talk about it in the past. It's timing, when to start moving picks or prospects.
"I just felt that there was a little more urgency because of what the players had done to get us to this point. I felt they deserved it."
After a 2-0 shutout loss to the Coyotes dropped the Kings to a season-worst 24-22-1 record on Jan. 22, the Kings have gone 11-1-3 over a 15-game stretch to climb back into the playoff hunt and currently sit just four points back of the Pacific Division leading San Jose Sharks.
So Lombardi worked the phones and brought the Kings exactly what they have long sought and desperately needed to continue their ascension up the Western Conference standings, a scoring left winger. Penner is a four-time 20-goal scorer who set a career high with 32 goals last year and will immediately fit in on the Kings top line, opposite Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. The Kings have long sought a scoring left winger, famously flirting with Ilya Kovalchuk all summer before the Russian sniper signed in New Jersey.
At 6-4 and 245 pounds, Penner gives the Kings size - instantly becoming the biggest player on the roster - giving the roster another front of the net presence, joining that of Ryan Smyth, Michal Handzus and Brown. For such a big body, Penner is good with the puck and has quite the scoring touch with 126 career goals in 405 games with the Oilers and Ducks, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2006-07.
Playoff experience that is needed for a team heading there.
Penner will join Williams, who also signed a four-year contract extension today - Lombardi was busy - and Rob Scuderi as Kings with a Stanley Cup on their resume.
For the season, Penner has scored 21 goals in 62 games this season for the Edmonton Oilers. The move will certainly help the offense and will do so without taking anything away from the current roster. The Kings traded from their depth of young prospects and future draft picks to make the deal happen with the rebuilding Edmonton Oilers.
Teubert, a 6-foot-4 defenseman, became expendable with the Kings depth of young defenseman - former first round picks Thomas Hickey and Derek Forbort, as well as puck moving defensemen Viatcheslav Voynov and Jake Muzzin developing in their system to name a few - and youth at the NHL level with corner stone defensemen Jack Johnson (23) and Drew Doughty (21).
By using his assets to get exactly what his team needed, Lombardi made his most significant move in his time as GM of the Kings.