I don’t think any knowledgeable hockey fan is surprised by this move. Dustin Penner is not worth $4.25 million per year. He is the type of player whose performance is very dependent on good linemates like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Penner will be another Joffrey Lupul without the same supporting cast he had with the Ducks.
Brian Burke is smart enough to realize that if he had agreed to sign Penner, he would have been extremely limited with his options as far as signing Getzlaf and Perry next year( if Penner is worth $4.25 million then what would they agree to). He also probably doesn’t have the retirement decisions of Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer which would require Burke to leave himself some salary cap wiggle room to absorb their salaries should they decide to return this season.
Let’s be realistic here, even if Burke had signed Penner and attempted to trade him (highly unlikely due to his salary), he would never have received a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks for him.
The first round pick could be a lottery pick where Burke could get the first overall selection in 2008 especially when you consider how weak the Oilers could be this season.
Brian Burke will use these picks to draft some future players or trade them for a late season trade. Either way, Burke looks like the smarter GM in this whole situation with Kevin Lowe hoping that Justin Penner isn’t another Joffrey Lupul otherwise Lowe will be looking for employment opportunities next summer!!!!