Frozen Royalty: Dustin Penner Spends First Day With LA Kings Adjusting To New Digs
Gann Matsuda made it out to practice yesterday in El Segundo which marked Dustin Penner’s first day as a King. Obviously there’s some excitement to a player of this caliber in the top-six. Read on for reactions and observations!
EL SEGUNDO, CA — One day after arriving in Los Angeles, left wing Dustin Penner was hard at work, trying to get to know his new teammates, along with the system his new team plays.
Penner, 28, was acquired by the Los Angeles Kings from the Edmonton Oilers on February 28 in a trade deadline deal that sent defenseman prospect Colten Teubert, a first round selection in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2012 draft (the pick becomes a second round pick in 2012 should the Kings win the Stanley Cup this season).
“Good guy, big body,” said defenseman Matt Greene, who played with Penner when they were both with the Oilers. “He’s got a lot of skill for a guy with his frame. He’s got a great touch around the net.”
“I think the big thing, too, is that he’s young, he’s getting better, and he’s got a great personality,” added Greene. “He works hard, I think he’s going to fit in real well with this team on the ice and off the ice, too.”
Penner arrived in Los Angeles on March 1, and spent some quality time with head coach Terry Murray.
“He made it in yesterday afternoon,” Murray said. “We spent some time with him in the afternoon yesterday, just reviewing some of the special teams play, and just getting to know him, getting to talk a little bit.”
“I’ll do the same here a little later this afternoon, when things settle down, to start to review the team play,” Murray added following practice on March 2.
As it turned out, talking, and a lot of it, was also a big part of his first practice with the Kings, as he tries to learn the Kings’ system.
“I’m comfortable with it,” said the 6-4, 245-pound native of Winkler, Manitoba. “A lot of NHL [teams] have the base, the pyramid, to use a metaphor. Everything branches out differently, but they all start with the same building blocks and move up from there. I’ll learn it quickly. It might not happen the first day or two. After a week, I’ll probably know it as well as I can.”
“There was a lot of conversation,” added Penner. “It was exciting for me to get here, and be a part of a playoff drive. Everybody has welcomed me with open arms. It’s been a good first day of practice. I’m just trying to figure out the system. A lot of the talking you saw out there, for myself, was just, ‘what do you want from me,’ stuff like that.”
What the Kings want and expect from Penner is goal scoring.
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