Dustin Penner is still a free agent. Maybe he could be a fit with the Montreal Canadiens.
The 31 year-old veteran forward had 32 points in 49 games with the Ducks last season before he was traded to Washington. He stock value is down now, because he only managed 3 points in 18 contests with the Capitals. Still a free agent after the hectic day on July 1st, he has time to find the right fit. Signing Penner has some interesting upside. Breakdown below:
Some may forget, but Penner has two Stanley Cup rings: one from Anaheim in 2007 and one from Los Angeles in 2012. Perhaps San Jose is the place for him, seeing as it’s the only California team he hasn’t won a cup with. That kind of experience is valuable and not always easy to come by. He would bring a good kind of leadership to the locker room.
Penner is coming off a 1-year, $2M deal. If anything, his value has gone down from the time he signed that contract to now. The most he would likely be able to rake in is the same $2M. Depending on his goals, he could end up on a team like Montreal for even less.
Now, the Canadiens have $15M in cap space, per CapGeek. You can already safely commit around $12M of that to next season’s payroll with the imminent signings of RFAs P.K. Subban and Lars Eller. But perhaps an extra million or two could be spent on a player who could fill-out the lineup.
He’s not fast but that’s not his game. Penner is not the ultimate power forward like Jeff Carter, for example. That’s why he has not already been signed to a team for $5M per year. But his 6’4 247 frame can be a huge asset to the Habs.
It’s not as if he is skill-less. He has three 20-goal seasons and one 30-goal season under his belt. He can play on either wing, and could be a nice fit on the Canadiens’ third line. In an effort to redeem himself, he would add an intimidation factor to the Montreal offense and would chip in production-wise.
Penner is an attractive commodity for Montreal. He could be an under-the-radar pick up for the Canadiens and turn out to be a valuable piece to the puzzle.