Monday, February 2, 2009

Too Much Expected of Penner

I can understand the teams frustration with his lack 0f progression to date and his inconsistency. HOWEVER it's not as if they didn't know what they were getting when they signed the undrafted and broad shouldered winger.

He was an inconsistent big body to play in front of the net for the Ducks and was an excellent 3rd wheel on the Getzlaf and Perry line at times. However in Edmonton, he is expected to be the 2nd wheel since on the top line Shawn Horcoff is also a guy that should be the 3rd wheel on a good 1st line.

The Oilers front office felt compelled to do something in the wake of the Ryan Smyth trade and their horrendous final 20 games after the deal. Instead of simply going into a short rebuild Lowe gambled and signed Souray, dealt Lupul and Jason Smith for Joni Pitkanen, and then he started to push the envelope by trying to poach RFA's.

I was actually for the Penner signing, however one has to keep in mind that a player could simply peak at a young age. It is a possibility and happens every year. Penner has had all of the pressure put on him and hasn't upped his game as people had hoped.

While I still believe that he will get better as a player, the question stands, is he a $4.25 million player now? Not likely. But Lowe mentioned when he was signed that he was paying for potential, so what was his plan if the potential was never realized? Allow the coach to further devalue the asset that he gave up a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick as well as a 5 year deal worth $4.25 million per for?

It must also be understood that the Oilers management felt that coach MacTavish would mold him into what they anticipated him to be at his current contract. That has failed to date, yet the player bares all of the criticism while the former GM and the coach are made to look like victims.

Fact of the matter is that at the moment Penner would be a better fit for a 2nd line role or maybe even a 3rd line role if we had enough talent to support his offensive ability in that role.

This team has a bad habit of overpaying players relative to their past performance. It also has a bad track record of under performing players. Some of the blame lies at the feet of Mr. Penner, but as far as I'm concerned there's plenty enough blame to go around.

It maybe time to revamp the lines and let Penner play out of his slump.



hunter1909 said...

Paying for potential is even worse than bloody well paying for past performance.

Bryanbryoil said...

True, especially when the sample size is 1 season.

Traktor said...

"Paying for potential is even worse than bloody well paying for past performance"

Worked for Hemsky.

The problem is Penner is like a Ruby with a bunch of shit on it and the guys that find all these gems have no idea how to polish them the right way to reveal the beauty.

Bryanbryoil said...

True Traktor, but it's painfully obvious that the guys calling the shots...

A)They aren't doing their homework on the players because they call them out for what they've done in their career prior to coming here.

B)They think that they can change the world because of "how great they are" so when they can't it's obviously everyone else's fault.