Trade Penner. Keep Hemsky.
It made sense all the way to trade deadline day.
The usually tentative Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and the equally dithering Dean Lombardi of the Los Angeles Kings ended up doing the deal of the day.
The often-in-a-fog former Anaheim Duck Dustin Penner is now headed back to the smog as a Los Angeles King. And the Oilers have, remarkably, managed to get back what they gave up for Penner in the first place.
That’s the thing to keep in mind here.
Penner cost the Oilers a first, second and a third round draft choice as a restricted free agent signing.
The Oilers sent him back to California for two firsts and a third (2012) that could turn into a second-round pick if — cringe — Penner, Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup.
One of those firsts is actually a live body in the person of 20-year-old hard-nosed six-foot-four, 200-pound former Team Canada World Junior defenceman Colten Teubert, picked 13th overall, nine picks ahead of his former Regina Pats teammate and now Oilers organization mate Jordan Eberle in 2008.
The actual first pick is the L.A. pick, which will likely be about 20th, in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
Hemsky was never in play this day.
“There was never anything with Ales that even came close to me considering to move my best player,” said Tambellini. “There was never anything that made me think twice about returning the call.”
Penner was in play in a big way.
“Over the last 48 hours I had discussions with a few teams about Dustin. There were multiple teams that were interested.
“Then it became quite evident that the return was going to fit in with what we were trying to do here — the first-round pick and the first-round prospect who is the kind of defenceman we don’t have a lot of around here.
“That pick fits into what the overall plan is, going ahead. We get two picks in the first round plus a good second and a couple thirds. Now we have significant options here of what we want to do going forward.”
Teubert is a first-year pro having a rough rodeo with the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL, struggling somewhat coming off a rib injury. But he’s the prototype of what the Oilers came into this deadline looking to get.
“He’s not ready for prime time yet but he will be, soon,” is Tambellini’s bet.
“We were aware of him. He played with Team Canada at a high level. He’s played with Jordan Eberle.
“He’s not fun to play against. We need a lot more of that. We played a game last night (Sunday against the big, physical Boston Bruins) which gives you a good example of the type of defence needed to handle some of the players some of the top teams have, just from a strength and competitive standpoint.
“I think his strengths are going to be one of compete, having great leadership qualities and being a good person. He’s a predictable, puck-moving player and we don’t have a lot of that right now,” he said of the kid who is headed to Oklahoma City and will quite likely be there all of next year as well.
There will be those who believe the Oilers lost this trade because they gave up 25-30 goals a year for birds in the bush. But the first issue is if he’d likely head to unrestricted free agency next year without re-upping with the Oilers. And would you have received the same assets for him at this time next year?
The bigger question is if you’d have wanted to re-sign him anyway.
Would he have been a fit here going forward?
Inconsistent. Refused to use his size to any advantage other than occasional personal positioning.
Doesn’t make anybody else any better.
He certainly didn’t play with the kind of passion or compete at the level that Taylor Hall and the kids on this team have already exhibited as the expectation for future teammates.
Meanwhile, Tambellini moves forward to the draft with a chance to package picks or a player to move up as well.
“Stu MacGregor is an excited man today,” he said of his head scout.
“This is the time to have those types of assets. Maybe five years from now it doesn’t make sense, but right now this is exactly what we need. Once you get to the draft, it’s very difficult to jump into the first round.”
Trade Penner. Keep Hemsky.
Forward to the future.
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