SUN Hockey Pool

Penner by the pound?

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

The Edmonton Oilers went Duck hunting yesterday, probably ruffling a few feathers along the way.

Whether they bag Dustin Penner, however, remains to be seen.

The Oilers signed the Anaheim Ducks winger to a five-year, $21.25-million offer sheet.

Penner, 24, scored 29 goals and added 16 assists in 82 games last season, his first full year in the league. He also chipped in with three goals and five assists in 21 playoff games as the Ducks went on to win the Stanley Cup.

The Oilers are not commenting on the move until the Ducks decided whether to match the offer. They have seven days to do so.

Ducks GM Brian Burke was not talking yesterday either, nor was Penner or his Edmonton-based agent, Gerry Johnson.

If the Ducks decide not to match the offer, the Oilers would have to give up a first, second and third-round draft pick.

The offer would pay Penner $4.25 million over the next five seasons. Last year the native of Winkler, Man., earned the league-minimum $450,000 in the final year of his entry-level contract.

If the Ducks don't match the offer, Penner would become the Oilers second-highest-paid player next season behind defenceman Sheldon Souray (at $6.25 million). Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff are next on the list ($3.6M), while goaltender Dwayne Roloson will earn $3.5 million.

Depending on whether defenceman Scott Niedermayer retires, the Ducks could be over the $50.3-million salary cap if they match the offer.

If Niedermayer ($6.75M) comes back, the Ducks would have until Oct. 1 to get under the cap, if they keep Penner.

This is the second time the Oilers have gone after a restricted free agent and the first time a team has done it twice in one year.

Three weeks ago the Oilers signed a seven-year $50-million offer-sheer with Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek.

The Sabres matched the offer but were none too impressed with Lowe.

One can only imagine what Burke feels about the Oilers latest move, especially considering rising stars Ryan Getzlaf, 22, and Corey Perry, 22, become restricted free agents next season.

The last player prior to Vanek to be tabled an offer sheet was Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks when the Philadelphia Flyers offered him a $1.9-million one-year deal in September. The Canucks matched the offer.

Before that the Carolina Hurricanes tried to lure Sergei Fedorov out of Detroit in 1998 with a six-year, $38-million deal that was also matched.

The previous year the Rangers tried to pry Joe Sakic out of Colorado with a three-year $21-millon deal and the Tampa Bay Lightning lost Chris Gratton to the Philadelphia Flyers and a five-year, $25.5-million offer.

The Toronto Maple Leafs also signed a five-year, $10-millon offer sheet with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund which was also matched.

Penner was not drafted and signed with the Ducks after scoring 11 goals and 12 assists in 43 games with the University of Maine.

He spent a season in Cincinnati and part of another in Portland before getting called up to Anaheim late in the 2005-2006 campaign.


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