Sens should put Penner to paper

Much criticism and many jokes have been made about Dustin “Pancake” Penner, but it wouldn’t come as a shock if Senators GM Bryan Murray shows interest in the 6-foot-4, 240-pound (on a good day) Los Angeles winger when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The two have a history, and Penner is proving in these playoffs that he still has some game. The native of Winkler, Man. has two goals and five assists in nine post-season games, helping the Kings earn the first berth in the final four.

One would assume the 29-year-old King will be lucky to receive offers of even half the $4.25 million he has made in each of the last five seasons. More likely, he’ll have to settle for something in the $1.5 million range. If that’s the case then yes, the Senators should consider making him a pitch.

Penner, who had just seven goals and 10 assists in 65 games during the regular season, has never been worth his current salary. He did show plenty of promise when he scored 29 goals for the Cup winning Anaheim Ducks in the 2006-07 season Senators fans remember well. In the playoffs, though, he didn’t exactly rise to the occasions, scoring just three times and adding five assists in 23 games.

That was back in a day when fewer people could accuse NHL owners of collusion. Then-Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe liked Penner’s potential so much he drew up an offer sheet worth $21.25 million, over a half decade, for the restricted free agent.