Lowe strikes again
Oilers sign Penner to offer; Burke's head explodes
Anaheim GM Brian Burke is on record saying he will match any offer made to Dustin Penner.
Oilers GM Kevin Lowe has about $14 million to spend and he's still looking to bag some talent. In fact, the name of Anaheim power forward Dustin Penner, a restricted free agent like Vanek -- has surfaced as a potential target.
The Edmonton Oilers are back at it again, tendering a five year, $21.5 million offer sheet to Anaheim Ducks Group II restricted free agentHere we go again...
I'll have more to say later, but at first glance, this makes a heckuva lot more sense to me than putting all of that money out there for Thomas Vanek. When you're in a situation where the other team is nearly a lock to match, the only way I can see it making sense to exert pressure on their cap structure is when you're talking about a team in your own conference, with whom you're competing for one of eight playoff spots.
Now, it makes even more sense to do so within your own division (which is why the Maple Leafs would have been well-served to drop a big-time offer sheet in Ray Emery's lap a few weeks ago), especially with play weighted so heavily there (40 per cent of teams' games are inter-divisional).
And while it seems absurd to talk about the Oilers competing with the Ducks, a team likely to be far ahead of them in the conference standings, this is a deal going on the books for years to come, one that forces Anaheim to pay one of it's young players far more than they would have from now until 2012-13.
I suppose the real question coming out of all of this, considering Burke will sign the deal, is where does it put the Ducks up against the cap? And how far off is a $4.3-million deal from Penner's true worth?
Brian Burke's press conference is going to be priceless.
UPDATE The Orange County Register has more on the dollar figures involved.
UPDATE The more I look at this, the more I think there's a chance Burke walks away. He's got far more important players to sign than Penner in upcoming years and those dollars could very well be used more wisely on a less one-dimensional player.
I guess we'll see. The Ducks' war room is mighty quiet at the moment, and I believe there's more of a discussion going on than Burke had originally thought there would be.
Let's put it this way: If Penner's only ever a second-line forward who can bat in 25 goals and 60 points, does it make sense to pay this much for him and throw in all those picks? Unlike Thomas Vanek (or even Zach Parise, who no one has touched — perhaps out of fear of Lou Lamoriello), who is a legitimate game-breaker, I can't see Penner ever filling a first-line role in the NHL.
UPDATE Lowetide does some excellent heavy lifting on all this business.
Labels: Kevin Lowe