Dustin Penner has had a bumpy ride with the Los Angeles Kings, though he was a key cog in their championship run in 2012. The team appears ready to move on from the forward.
The team has only around $5 million left under the salary cap, with numerous restricted free agents left to re-sign. There appears to be little room left to sign Penner, who is coming off a one-year, $3.25 million deal. General manager Dean Lombardi says almost as much in an interview released on Thursday:
It's one of those cap things, and I guess it's safe to say I have a limited amount of cap space left, and there certainly isn't going to be enough to - I mean his requirements. I talked to him the other day, and I just told him. I talked to his agent a couple days ago and [said] ‘This is where we're at. I've only got X amount left.
Penner had just two goals and 14 points in 33 games this season for the Kings. This was actually, if you look at it over the possibility of a full season, an improvement from the player who had just 17 points in 65 games in 2011-12. Penner likely only survived to this season with the Kings because of his 11 points in 20 games during the team's run to the Stanley Cup that spring. He was again fairly decent in the playoffs, scoring more goals in 18 post-season games (three) than he did in 33 regular season games (two).