Thursday, August 02, 2007

'Dustin Penner is an Edmonton Oiler'

Edmonton radio (630 CHED) is reporting Dustin Penner's agent has said the player is now on the Oilers' reserve list, meaning he has been transferred from Anaheim awaiting the finalization of his contract.

This is the first time an offer sheet has not been matched under this CBA and the first in 10 years since the Flyers received Chris Gratton from Tampa Bay in 1997 for what was then a mammoth, five-year, $16.5-million contract offer.

Penner will make $21.5-million over the next five years in Edmonton, a cap hit of $4.3-million per season. The Ducks receive Edmonton's first-, second- and third-round picks from the 2008 entry draft.

2:40 p.m. EDT UPDATE Penner's agent Gerry Johannson is on Edmonton radio station CFRN right now.
I think today he's relieved. He's happy to have this over with because it's certainly flattering when you get an offer from the Oilers... you're part of a team that's making such a serious commitment as the Oilers are. But, obviously he loves Anaheim.
If I'm a general manager, I'm signing my good young free agents as soon as I can.
Johansson seems to think Penner will play on Edmonton's top line with Ales Hemsky. Apparently the Oilers brass sold Penner on playing in Edmonton by saying he would have a very significant role with the team.

UPDATE A chronological list of players who received offer sheets that weren't matched: Gary Nylund (1986), Scott Stevens (1990), Glen Featherstone (1991), Dave Thomlinson (1991), Brendan Shanahan (1991), Adam Graves (1991), Petr Nedved (1994), Mike Craig (1994), Steven Rice (1994), Shayne Corson (1995), Chris Gratton (1997) and Dustin Penner (2007).

Other than Penner, these contracts were offered under previous versions of the league's CBA, some of which involved an arbitrator determining compensation (which often involved players) for the team which decided not to match.

Hockey's Future has a great post on this here.

UPDATE Here's a thought: Anaheim's in a win-now situation, which may be the only drawback to relying on futures to make this deal make sense.

Even still, as people have noted both in the comments here and elsewhere, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have as much to do with this decision as anything. The salary structure in the NHL is shifting rapidly this off-season, with the youngsters cashing in, and those two are going to both be in the Penner-range on their new deals next season.

UPDATE I offered my opinion on Penner when the offer sheet was announced last week, and it remains the same. He's frankly just too one-dimensional to justify the expense.

UPDATE The Anaheim Ducks press release is here. Burke is expected to speak sometime after 6 p.m. EDT.

Here's Kevin Lowe: "I'm not in the business of making friends, I never have been and I never will be." The Oilers GM also says he will not be putting out any more RFA offer sheets.

Lowe says he hasn't spoken with Burke and called his previous comments "uncalled for." It honestly sounds like the friendship has been severed over this move.

UPDATE Penner about the expectations in Edmonton: "You can only worry about what you can control, not what the media says ... I have no reservations about not being able to succeed now. I think Edmonton is going to be right on board there to help me.

"The pressure that I receive from the media and fans won't be near the pressure I put on myself to be the best player I can be. I know myself I didn't think I peaked this year in Anaheim, and I don't know what my potential is, but I think over the next five years, I'll find out."

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33 Comments:

At 2:26 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

Congratulations Oilers fans! Here's hoping he doesn't become Joffrey Lupul Mk II.

When is Burke scheduling another press conference to call K-Lowe names?

 
At 2:44 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger Loxy said...

:(

 
At 2:48 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous degroat said...

"I believe this is the first time an offer sheet has never been matched. "

I'm not sure if you meant since the new CBA was signed, but in the early 90's the Blues signed 3 restricted free agents...

Scott Stevens - Washington was awarded 5 firsts

Brenden Shanahan - New Jersey was awarded Scott Stevens

Peter Nedved - Vancouver was awarded Janney and some other stuff (but Janney refused to go)

 
At 2:54 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Updated the info Chris; I believe Gratton was the most recent one.

 
At 3:22 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite all his blustering and name calling, I bet Burkie is laughing all the way to next year's draft. Edmonton will still be at or near the bottom of the league and Burke will be able to set up future re-stocking with some good (and for a while) cheap talent. I think he got the better end of this deal.

 
At 3:24 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

"I think today he's relieved. He's happy to have this over with because it's certainly flattering when you get an offer from the Oilers"

Hahahahahahahaha.

 
At 3:25 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

Anyone else thing Burke knew he wasn't going to match all along, and that he just kept silent to keep Lowe and the Oilers nervous out of spite?

 
At 3:27 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great for both teams!

Oilers and Lowe needed this. Anaheim and Burke needed this (at 4.3M salary).
Happy ending.

 
At 3:30 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

"you're part of a team that's making such a serious commitment as the Oilers are."

I'd have believed that if they had also signed Smyth.

 
At 3:34 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first rounder is useful, but let's be honest -- second and third round picks are nothing but lottery tickets. Getting a 29 goal scorer for a first round pick that may or may not pan out is pretty good for Lowe. Therefore, from a pure hockey trade perspective, this one was a no brainer. My question is whether or not Penner can play like a $4 million player, or if this contract becomes a liability a year or two from now.

 
At 3:35 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

So the Oilers had over $9M available for Penner and Souray but not any money for Smyth?

 
At 3:38 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

James, of the 12 players listed, the only really big mistakes in NOT matching were Stevens and Shanahan.

Given those odds, Lowe is likely to regret making the offer - and having it not matched.

I have been a critic of Burke in the past, and I thought for sure that his ego and combative personality would override his common sense and he would match.

However, I was wrong, and I give Burke full credit for making the right choice.

 
At 3:50 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Mr DeBakey said...

So the Oilers had over $9M available for Penner and Souray but not any money for Smyth?

I think the aftermath of the Smyth fiasco opened a few Investor Group eyes.

And, they did have $5.3ish for Smyth
And, I think he walked because he feared they were blowing their budget on him

 
At 3:59 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to be Joni Pitkanen's agent right about now! Come July 2008 and K-Lowe has to match some serious dollars.

 
At 4:04 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Hey James!

I got a post on this here:

Link

 
At 4:19 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger FAUXRUMORS said...

1) Burke's decision to allow Penner to go had as much to do with next summer as this one.
2) If he gives Penner 4.3, how much will Getzlaf and Perry look to get next year? Burke, and all GM's would be well advised to lock up your young stars early!
3) That said, Burke made the right decision. Unless Pener becomes another Leclair or Bertuzzi, its a good move

 
At 4:35 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger Jesse said...

James:

A sign-and-trade would not have worked for Burke. According to the CBA, the 'Prior Team' cannot trade the player for one year after they match an offer sheet -- Article 10.3(b)

 
At 4:44 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Appreciate that — I'm going to amend my post.

 
At 5:04 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

Dustin Penner finishes 5th in the Calder Trophy voting (and due to the fact he is older than most rookies probably wont improve as much into the future) and will be the highest paid 2006/07 rookie in his sophomore season.

Does that make sense to you?

 
At 5:46 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ducks are in win-now mode but they need to be aware of the longer term too. If they matched this then they'd probably be looking at trading or losing Perry or Beauchemin next summer.

The good news is that if they want to, those 1st-2nd-3rd picks could be used as bait to bring in another pretty good player or two at the trade deadline.

Especially if Edmonton has a poor year. That first rounder then comes into play as the potential #1 overall pick, and come trade deadline time the offers for a potential lottery pick could be pretty sweet, if Burke were so inclined to trade it.

Imagine if that actually ended up being the #1 overall pick. If nothing else, that should cost Lowe his job.

 
At 5:54 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else thing Burke knew he wasn't going to match all along, and that he just kept silent to keep Lowe and the Oilers nervous out of spite?

Yeah, I think he left Lowe twisting in the wind on purpose.
There's no way Lowe can be happy about it now that he's had time to think about it; I'm sure he already regrets the move.

He should be fired by now.

 
At 6:32 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No idea where all these silly "fire Lowe" ideas are coming from. He just improved his team!

 
At 6:47 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

So the Oilers had over $9M available for Penner and Souray but not any money for Smyth?

For as much as Ryan Smyth was a "heart and soul" player, the reality is he was looking for far too long a term for a player of his age. Smyth is 31, increasingly injury prone, and now at the age when a player's offensive output starts to diminish quickly. (See Naslund, Marcus). It's going to be awfully tough to justify having Ryan Smyth on your team four years from now at over $6 million a year to be a glorified checker, which is what he will have become by then. If the Oilers were going to overpay someone, better that it be a defenceman, who don't tend to age as quickly as scoring forwards, and a young guy like Penner, who is just entering his prime years now.

 
At 7:09 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can the Oilers just fire their scouting staff and then rehire them in 09? They won't need them next year.

 
At 7:42 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger Cory Klein said...

Anonymous: You don't think the Oilers should do any scouting for the 1st rd pick of Anahiems they have or you just dont like checking facts?

 
At 8:08 PM, August 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is anybody else sick of having everything about the oilers viewed through the 'ryan smyth glasses"? He is Edmonton's past, and a "heart and soul" player would have signed at what he was offered by Edmonton.

 
At 8:19 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger Black Dog said...

Dennis - I didn't like paying Smyth 5.5 per for five years but I'd rather that then Souray who is less of a player and truly injury prone (was not last year his first year where he was healthy for the whole season) and the same age to boot.

As soon as the Oilers signed Souray any argument against signing Smyth went out the window. And I was against signing Smyth for that money btw.

 
At 11:28 PM, August 02, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Imagine if that actually ended up being the #1 overall pick. If nothing else, that should cost Lowe his job.

Uh, no. Either the move is bad enough to fire him now or you don't fire him for it later. (You might fire him for what happens over the next season, but not for this move.) If you get into the business of firing people based upon information unavailable when they made the decision you're firing them for, you're doomed to the treadmill. If that information is the outcome of a bouncing lottery ball ten months after the decision was made, it's doubly stupid.

Now, there are instances where your use of the information you had at the time of the decision can't be evaluated until some point in the future. Drafting and trading for prospects is like this. In that case, making predictions is a skill, and should be treated as such. In this case, though, everyone has exactly the same information about Penner that Lowe has. The future is unpredictable, but there isn't a skill to predicting what Penner is going to do. Everyone in this thread can evaluate the probability distribution of that outcome pretty much as well as Kevin Lowe and Brian Burke can.

Look at that probability distribution, and decide if buying it is worth what Lowe paid to get it. I'm not a fan of this move (unlike the Vanek signing; pay for upside when you're rebuilding), and my hunch is that it isn't. But no matter how it turns out, we won't have any more ability to judge Lowe's evaluation skills when Edmonton doesn't make the playoffs than we do now, at least not with regards to this deal.

 
At 2:13 AM, August 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...if you get into the business of firing people based upon information unavailable when they made the decision you're firing them for, you're doomed to the treadmill. If that information is the outcome of a bouncing lottery ball ten months after the decision was made, it's doubly stupid.

What information is unavailable to Lowe here? That his first round pick could be the #1 overall? That his team is one of the weakest in the league on paper at the moment? That so far this summer he has not significantly improved a team that could only win three games last year after Smyth was traded? Do Dustin Penner and Sheldon Souray make the Oilers a playoff team now in the Western Conference? Maybe it's Garon that does it for them? Or Tarnstrom?

This is very unlikely to be a playoff team right now and they actually have a chance to be really bad. That's obvious to a lot of neutral fans observing this and it should be obvious to Lowe too, if he's capable of honest and objective analysis of his team. So it should therefore have occured to him that he was potentially giving away a very high pick in the draft when he made this offer to Penner.

He cannot control whether it is the eventual #1, no argument there. But he darn well better know that there's a lot better chance that he's giving away the #1 than say, if it were Anaheim or Nashville or Detroit or one of the other stronger teams making an offer to somebody.

It's no different than Floyd Smith giving away a legit shot at Lindros back in 1989 when he traded his first pick for Tom Kurvers. Lowe better hope that he isn't forced to spend his March and April praying for somebody else to be worse than his team, the way Smith had to in 90-91.

 
At 11:05 AM, August 03, 2007, Anonymous Mr DeBakey said...

How come some of Anonymous' posts are quite insightful

while other times he [or she] makes inane, ill-informed comments?

Bipolar?

 
At 1:32 PM, August 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me an idiot, but it seems to me that with "cost certainty" salaries cannot inflate past the negotiated percentage of revenue, nor can they be less. So, what this whole Penner thing does is change the pay scale on a hockey team. Instead of paying big bucks for a player that used to be good, people will be paying the cash for players (they think) will be good.

Dan.

 
At 1:42 PM, August 03, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

What information is unavailable to Lowe here? That his first round pick could be the #1 overall? That his team is one of the weakest in the league on paper at the moment? That so far this summer he has not significantly improved a team that could only win three games last year after Smyth was traded? Do Dustin Penner and Sheldon Souray make the Oilers a playoff team now in the Western Conference? Maybe it's Garon that does it for them? Or Tarnstrom?

You aren't disagreeing with me at all. Yes, there is a chance that the first rounder Lowe just sent to Anaheim might be the first overall pick. I'm not saying that there isn't.

What I am saying is that deciding to fire him after that pick gets locked in as number one overall, if it does, is stupid. Even if that happens, what Lowe traded away wasn't the first overall pick; he traded away a probability distribution with some likelihood that the pick would be #1, some likelihood that it would be #2, ... , and some likelihood that it would be #30. If what he did was a firing offense, it is a firing offense right now, and not next June. Waiting for the ping pong ball to settle doesn't add any information about the deal at the time Lowe made it.

Now, there is the problem that statistical analysis isn't terribly useful for one time events, but it is still probabilities that are being dealt with here.

 
At 2:49 PM, August 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If what he did was a firing offense, it is a firing offense right now, and not next June. Waiting for the ping pong ball to settle doesn't add any information about the deal at the time Lowe made it.

C'mon....people get judged on results, not probability of certain results. By that logic it makes just as much sense to vote on coach of the year right now as it does to vote after the season ended.

For all we know, this could be the genius move of the century and Penner will hoist the Cup again next year as an Oiler. That would mean this was a good move by Lowe and hardly something to fire him for.

Lowe's performance should be graded on the outcome of his moves. Those outcomes cannot be known until time has passed. And just as Penner taking them to the Cup (or even just into the playoffs!) makes this a great move, finishing dead last and thus surrendering the best prospect in next year's draft makes it a really, really dumb one.

People who make really, really dumb moves get fired.

 

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