Sunday afternoon, rumor website hockey30.com reported that, the Habs may be inviting, UFA left winger Dustin Penner to training camp. here is the link to the rumor http://www.hockey30.com/nouvelles/dustin-penner-invite-au-camp-du-ch-a-moins-quil-ne-se-barre-le-dos-encore-e/ If this rumor, is true this is certainly an interesting case. Due to the fact, there is a right wing spot open for a prospect up for grabs. In which Penner could challenge Jiri Sekac, and Jacob De La Rose for the spot in the top 9. Many experts say, Penner is now washed up but, in fact he still has some game left in him as he didn’t have a terrible season last year. Averaging over 0.5 points a game for the first time since 2011.
Penner may seem to be declining very fast, as he no longer is the same player he was in 2009-10, when he scored 32 goals and 63 points in 82 games, with the Edmonton Oilers. However, if he does get an invite, and does well, then he would provide the Canadiens, with much needed size to the forward group, and good scoring depth. He split last year with the Ducks and Caps scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 67 games. Although, he really struggled with the Caps,scoring only 1 goal in 18 games. But with that being said, he couldn’t find chemistry with anyone, as he was traded mid season. In training camp, he will actually get the chance to create chemistry with a few players.
It’s clear Penner is looking for a new beginning, as he hasn’t lived up to expectations in years. That’s why a camp invite is the best way to restart, and maybe reprove himself as a good reliability for scoring depth. As at 32, he should still be capable to scoring 20, and 40 points, if he manages to stay healthy. A total he could’ve obtained, had he stayed in Anaheim all of last year.Also, an invite is good because, if he under performs, the Habs will not be stuck with him, and can release him. If he does get signed,he won’t cost much more than 1M.
With that being said, there should be no reason to believe that giving Penner a chance, is a bad idea. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation.