For months now, the Los Angeles Kings have needed a top-line winger to balance out their forward attack. Today at the NHL trade deadline, GM Dean Lombardi pulled the trigger on the day's biggest deal (so far) by acquiring hulking power forward Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers for a first round pick (2011), a conditional pick (2012), and defenseman Colten Teubert.
Penner returns back to Southern California, where his in-the-crease presence boosted the Anaheim Ducks attack to the point where Penner got a big-time contract in Edmonton (and starting an infamous war of words between the clubs).
At his best, Penner is an immovable presence in front of the net, which makes him a key power play component with his ability to screen the goalie. He's got good hands for a big man, though he has been known to disappear for stretches. In LA, Penner will play with Ryan Smyth, another known crease crasher, giving Terry Murray plenty of options for the now-revamped power play.
With the re-signing of Justin Williams earlier today, LA's forward group looks to be steadied for both this season and next. On the flip side, the Oilers get a defensive prospect and what should be a first-rounder somewhere in the 20s.