Capitals acquire Penner from Anaheim

Capitals acquire Penner from Anaheim
March 4, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Looking for a top-line left wing to play alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals have acquired 6-foot-4, 242-pound left wing Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2014.

Penner, 31, has 13 goals and 19 assists in 49 games for the Ducks. He carries a $2 million salary cap hit and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Penner won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, scoring three goals in 21 playoff games, and won another with the Kings in 2012, scoring three goals in 20 playoff games.

Upon learning he’d been traded to Washington, Penner said in a tweet, “That's weird. It's not April 1st either. Hmm.I feel used. … see ya soon Teddy KGB @ovi8 @washcaps

Penner was in Anaheim with the Ducks on Tuesday and is expected to arrive in Philadelphia in time for the Caps’ 8 p.m. game against the Flyers Wednesday night.

To make room for Penner the Capitals will need to clear salary space, lending to speculation they will either trade Marty Erat [$4.5 million] or place Mikhail Grabovki [ankle] or Brooks Laich [groin] on injured reserve.

Earlier on Tuesday the Caps returned left wing Nicolas Deschamps to the AHL Hershey Bears, clearing $726,000 in cap space and leaving them with just $80,584 in cap space.

With defenseman Jack Hillen [$700,000] scheduled to come off long-term injury on Wednesday, the Caps will need to make another roster move to make room for Penner.

Undrafted out of Winkler, Manitoba, the same hometown of his new Caps teammate Eric Fehr, Penner broke into the NHL with a 29-goal rookie season and got his name etched on the Stanley Cup later that season.

Penner became a restricted free agent after winning the Cup and Edmonton signed him to a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet that the Ducks refused to match. Penner set career highs with 32 goals and 63 points with the Oilers in 2009-10 but midway through the following season he was dealt to the Kings, where he won a second Stanley Cup in 2012.

In 571 NHL games, Penner has career totals of 150 goals and 307 points. He has another 13 goals and 35 points in 78 playoff games.