Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Penner watch: Countdown to armageddon

The Oilers learn tomorrow whether or not Ducks GM Brian Burke will opt to match the Lowe's fabric-of-reality-tearing five-year, $21.25-million offer sheet for Dustin Penner.

Will he or won't he?

I've got a crisp, unmarked $5 Canadian bill that says Burke lets Penner walk. That is, after all, the worst possible outcome in this situation. And "worst possible" seems to be synonymous with "most likely" these days in Browntown.

Thoughts?

Meanwhile, the fact that this franchise has gotten so desperate for scoring that it's willing to catapult briefcases of cash in the direction of an unproven sophomore who potted 29 goals one time seems to have had little effect on the Oilers faithful, who have responded this off-season by snapping up every last season ticket in record time. At least, so says Laforge.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: Mirtle has 630 CHED reporting that Burke did not match the offer. Snip:

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.

I believe this is the first time an offer sheet has never been matched. Penner will make $21.5-million over the next five years in Edmonton, a cap hit of $4.3-million per season.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: TSN.ca home page confirms Ducks have decided not to match.

35 comments:

Lowetide said...

I took my kids to Fred Penner years ago. It was at Winspear maybe when it opened (sometime in there anyway).

Penner was playing with the ESO and we had really nice seats. I was excited because my kids loved music and this was such a great chance for them to see someone live who they watched every day.

Daughter fell asleep before the opening cowbell, the boy had to pee three times.

"What a Day" was right.

As for the deal, of course they'll let him walk. They suffer through a season without him and then get Joe Sakic with our lottery pick.

The horribleness is biblical. Biblo-fricking-ical.

James L. said...

If Burke was going to match, he'd have done it by now. Burke would be a blithering idiot to match, when he saves $21 million and gets three kick-ass draft picks out of the deal.

And the Oilers get fucked for a generation.

Simon said...

Why is this happening though? Lowe is only accountable to the ownership. And the ownership new damn well that they could suffer through an entire year of shittiness without a fan rebellion. They knew what season ticket sales were like all summer. Why? Why is this happening?
Even if Lowe is incompetent, doesn't he have staff around himto support him?

Rock Deputy said...

"the ownership [know] damn well that they could suffer through an entire year of shittiness without a fan rebellion."

Being an Oilers fan is like being in an abusive relationship. No matter how many punches we take, we always come back thinking - "He'll change. Things'll get better. He only hits me cause he loves me."

Lowe trades Pronger for a bag of pucks... they record breakingly tank the last third of the season... they lose the heart and soul of the team (not to mention the Captian and the aforementioned bag of pucks) and fail to fill in the gaping holes in the roster... look like assholes over the Vanek offer and now the Penner deal?

... and season tickets sales are record breaking!!!

Holy shit! What do these asshats have to do to lose our support? If this were any other team we'd have had a new GM and coach by now. Lowe could stalk the bench with figure skaters and we'd gladly fill the seats.

What does Lowe have to do to get fired?

Mattstro Disastro said...

Dustin's going to crawl through that hollow log and yell "what the hell?" Then they'll give him the money and he'll settle into the mediocrity nicely.

wunder said...

Don't believe anything Laforge says. We'll see how many tickets they have available at the games.

Pleasure Motors said...

they record breakingly tank the last third of the season...

To be fair, they only record-breakingly tanked the last quarter of the season. They just tanked the last third of the season.

Rod said...

Couple things...

There's no reason--aside from fan munity (see Buffalo re: Vanek)--for the RFA rights team to quickly announce whether they'll match. The longer they delay, the longer it keeps the "offer sheet team" from making another offer to another RFA. It also keeps the offer sheet team from making any other significant moves as their lineup isn't set. Unless of course Burkie boy made a "courtesy call" to Lowe already. Yeah, right.

Point is, Burke could still match. Or not. The fact he hasn't stated his position means nothing. Keeping the Ducks decision under wraps is merely the leaves the Oilers on the hook for that much longer.

As for all the doom and gloom, it's way overblown in my opinion. Sure, there's a chance the Oilers could crash to the #1 overall pick next summer. Very small chance though. To me, chances are greater that Penner gets 30 goals each of the next two seasons.

Which brings me to my final point re: all the doom and gloom. Who would you rather have:
- Bertuzzi for two years @ 4 million
or
- Penner for 4.25 million

Between the two, Penner is clearly the better deal.

Next time Burkie wants to rant about salaries, perhaps he needs to look in his own backyard. The only reason he might not be able to match is the dumb deal he made to land Bert.

Guess we'll find out soon enough. Tick, tock...

Rod said...

I agree that anything Laforge says should be looked at critically, even with scepticism. He's all about marketing after all...

That said, I can't see why the Oilers would lie about having sold out season tickets. For one, it sends the message to prospective buyers that no season tickets are available...when you'd think they'd like to sell 'em. Second, the Oilers instituted a season seat "register" (a waiting list for season tickets). The ridiculous thing about the register is that people have to pay an annual administration fee ...and that fee doesn't go toward tickets (should your number ever come up). Plus a $200 application fee (at least that fee goes toward tickets, or is refunded if you "drop out of the registry").

Add in economy around here, and I have no trouble believing season tickets are gone.

Earl Sleek said...

Who would you rather have:
- Bertuzzi for two years @ 4 million
or
- Penner for 4.25 million


Is it wrong that I'd take the cheaper, more experienced, more accomplished player here? Especially if he came with draft picks.

Next time Burkie wants to rant about salaries, perhaps he needs to look in his own backyard. The only reason he might not be able to match is the dumb deal he made to land Bert.

Good thinking, Rod. Increasing Penner's salary tenfold should be every GM's dream. Don't really know what Burkie's smoking--sanity sauce?

Chris! said...

"To me, chances are greater that Penner gets 30 goals each of the next two seasons."

Man, if Dustin Penner scores 60 goals in the next two seasons, I was cheerfully admit I was wrong. But come on. No way is then even a halfway reasonable expectation based on one season.

Have you forgotten about Lupul so quickly?

MetroGnome said...

Oilers fans recent tribulations are starting to remind of my own during the Flames "Young Guns" era.

canablach said...

Oilers fans recent tribulations are starting to remind of my own during the Flames "Young Guns" era.

Me I'd rather not !

Vic Ferrari said...

There is so hope here, faint though it may be. Because (a) Burke is an egomaniac and (b) losing a player to a RFA offer sheet is the equivalent to prison rape in the hockey GM subculture.

I'm clinging to the notion that Burke will match out of a combination spite and a warped notion of pack order. Not likely I know, it's all Ive got.

LittleFury said...

If the Oilers, by some miracle, make the playoffs next year or (as is more likely) squeak back into a ninth or tenth place finish, will all those predicting a lottery pick shut up for the ensuing off season. Don't get me wrong, I've a tremendous amount of respect for the opinions and hockey knowledge of some of those chaps, but the constant throbbing drumbeat of negativity is getting tiresome. It's fucking August and the season (which I'm pretty sure doesn't start until October) has already been pronounced D.O.A. What's the point, then?

allan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike w said...

from tsn: Sources tell TSN that the Ducks won't match unless they make a trade this morning to free up cap space but it appears nothing is close at this point.

mc79hockey said...

If the Oilers, by some miracle, make the playoffs next year or (as is more likely) squeak back into a ninth or tenth place finish, will all those predicting a lottery pick shut up for the ensuing off season. Don't get me wrong, I've a tremendous amount of respect for the opinions and hockey knowledge of some of those chaps, but the constant throbbing drumbeat of negativity is getting tiresome.

I don't think that there a lot who think that this is a lottery team if they end up adding Penner as well - VF is the only one who I think is still in that position.

That said, if they squeak into the playoffs or finish 9th or 10th and have no cap room (or, more realistically, money that they're willing to spend) to improve the team and difficulties with resigning their own RFA's, well, then I figure the drumbeat of negativity was pretty justified. How about you drop Lowe and the Oilers a note asking them to stop behaving like the drunk guy in the bar at the end of the night, looking someone, anyone to succumb to their drunken suggestions of mating? I see myself as more the guy in the corner saying "Can you believe that fucking guy?"

gary b said...

i love how to so many people, Dustin Penner automatically equals Joffrey Lupul. While we can all go back and forth on whether or not this RFA offer will pay off or not, if Penner DOES become an Oiler, i'm confident that he'll at least show up to play, and use his obvious physical talents to his advantage.

Hell, if the team has to hire an extra Zamboni driver to help push Penner into position in front of the net before every play. we're still better off. Give me huge and unlovable over soft and wilty any day.

Lupul? - physically he's the hockey equivalent of that scene from 'Amercian Beauty', you know, the one at the end with the wind-blown plastic bag?

mc79hockey said...

Lupul? - physically he's the hockey equivalent of that scene from 'Amercian Beauty', you know, the one at the end with the wind-blown plastic bag?

Analogy of the year.

gary b said...

whoops - i said Penner would be "huge and unlovable", when in fact i meant "huge and unmovable". altho if he plays big and mean like we all hope he might...

Rod said...

Chris said:
>>Man, if Dustin Penner scores 60 goals in the next two seasons, I was cheerfully admit I was wrong. But come on. No way is then even a halfway reasonable expectation based on one season.<<

Obviously 60 goals is not completely reasonable. Never said it was.

Point is, the idea that Edmonton is giving up a lottery pick falls in the same unreasonable boat. The chances the Oil pick is top five is remote. Penner has a better chance @ 60 over the next two. That's all I'm saying. Well, that and all the negativity is little much to take.

MetroGnome said...

It's fucking August and the season (which I'm pretty sure doesn't start until October) has already been pronounced D.O.A. What's the point, then?

Hey, that's the fun of the offseason: needless predictions.

Besides, concluding that a team's chances of success come October are slim isn't necessarily unreasonable at this time. I mean, have you seen Phoenix's roster?

Anonymous said...

Anyone else get the sense that Burke sat on this decision for as long as he could so that Lowe couldn't make an offer to Parise?

That would assume that Burke ever considered matching.

mike w said...

10 minutes to the wire. You got to love what a jackass Burke is...

Chris! said...

2:05 p.m., and nothing doing. I guess that means Penner's an Oiler.

mike w said...

Hi Chris!

MetroGnome said...

Is it official? Can I say "Happy Dustin Penner day!" yet?

Chris! said...

Mirtle just emailed me saying CHED is reporting Ducks did not match.

Rod said...

It's official--Penner's an Oiler! (his agent is on the Team1260 right now)

Pleasure Motors said...

i'm confident that he'll at least show up to play, and use his obvious physical talents to his advantage.

You'll have to forgive me if being told, "Well, he'll be better than Joffrey Lupul" isn't exactly fucking comforting.

That said, Dustin Penner had better be goddamn better than Joffrey Lupul. And Raffi Torres. Possibly Shawn Horcoff and Jarret Stoll. Actually, definitely better than those two. Dustin Penner better be a perennial all-star, a power forward who makes people say "Neely" a lot. Forty goals next year, you $4 million Coke machine, and I better not see any pictures of you licking puck bunnies.

If that seems unreasonable, blame Lowe.

Anonymous said...

penner is an oiler, like it or not. i say not, at least for what it cost the team.

Tyler said...

I think that's a fake reggie jr - all four words in his post are spelled correctly.

rod said...

>>Dustin Penner better be a perennial all-star, a power forward who makes people say "Neely" a lot. Forty goals next year, you $4 million Coke machine, and I better not see any pictures of you licking puck bunnies.

If that seems unreasonable, blame Lowe.<<


Uh, that's totally unreasonable. An unmarried NHL hockey player staying away from puck bunnies? Yeah...that'll happen... :-)

As for on the ice, well, give Penner some time. He may not be Neely, but he doesn't have to be. The "price" wasn't as steep as some are making out.

The money is only a factor if the Oilers claim they can't afford another player. If that happens, we get all over the EIG for not selling to Katz. Their excuses are gone. Nice, right?

The draft picks are only a factor if they actually pan out. The picks headed this way over the years haven't exactly amounted a world beater. Question marks surrounding Penner and how good he'll become are dwarfed by questions that surround draft picks.

Besides, the Oil still have a 1st and 2nd rounder next year. The cupboard isn't bare, nor have they mortgaged the future. They're clearly building a team that will get stronger over the next few years. I like the direction they're headed.

Bottom line, give Penner some time. If he progresses in the next couple years like his potential indicates, the Oilers could be sitting in a good spot. Hemmer a couple years better, along with Pitkanen, Penner...

Anonymous said...

I hope he's better than Pisani.