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 Oilers tender offer sheet to Ducks forward Dustin Penner 
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Post Oilers tender offer sheet to Ducks forward Dustin Penner
The Oilers have gone after yet another restricted free agent, this time signing Anaheim Ducks forward Dustin Penner to a US$21.25-million, five-year offer sheet. The deal pays $4.25 million in each of the next five seasons, a huge raise over the league minimum $450,000 the 24-year-old Penner earned last season in the last year of his entry-level contract.

It is the second time in three weeks that the Oilers have gone after a restricted free agent, trying but failing to get Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres on July 6. The Sabres matched Edmonton's $50-million, seven-year offer.

The Ducks have seven days to match Edmonton's offer sheet. Should they decide not to match, the Ducks would receive from the Oilers a first-round draft pick as well as a second-round pick and a third-round choice.

An Oilers spokesman told The Canadian Press that the club would not comment until after Anaheim decides whether or not it will match. A Ducks spokesman said GM Brian Burke would reserve comment until Friday at the earliest.

"We're going to wait and see what happens here in the next seven days before we make a comment," Penner's agent Gerry Johannson told The Canadian Press.

Oilers GM Kevin Lowe went after a team that doesn't have much room under the salary cap right now. The defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks stand at around $48 million. The Penner signing would push the Ducks over the $50.3-million maximum but a team is allowed to be over the salary cap by 10 per cent until Oct. 1.

So Anaheim can match the Penner offer and then figure out later how to get under the cap.

The Ducks would save $6.75 million under the salary cap if defenceman Scott Niedermayer does decide to call it quits and signs his retirement papers. But Anaheim would much rather have its Conn Smythe Trophy winner back in the lineup and find another way to cut payroll.

Not counting against Anaheim's salary cap right now is veteran winger Teemu Selanne, who is an unrestricted free agent. He has yet to decide whether or not he'll retire. The Finnish Flash has previously said he would only return to the Ducks if he does decide to keep playing. Selanne earned $3.75 million last season.

Lowe, meanwhile, is trying to shore up his offence after failing to lure an unrestricted free-agent forward. He did sign free-agent defenceman Sheldon Souray but wants help up front.

Penner, a native of Winkler, Man., had 45 points (29-16) in 82 regular-season games while adding eight points (3-5) in 21 playoff games for the Cup champions in 2006-07. He had seven points (4-3) in 19 regular-season games in his rookie campaign in 2005-06, while also adding nine points (3-6) in 13 playoff games.

Undrafted by NHL teams, the six-foot-four, 243-pound Penner was signed by former Ducks GM Bryan Murray as a free agent out of U.S. college in May 2004.

That's great... It looks like they're going to have to do something about the RFA rules in the NHL. Who cares about giving up a couple of draft picks... If you're picking outside of the top 5 you don't get anyone that would have made your team in the first year anyhow. Sure your minor league teams will be depleated, but that doesn't matter much when you're plucking a high caliber proven NHL player that year anyhow.

I hope Anaheim loses him... They're probably the toughest team in the NHL right now. It's going to make the Oilers that much tougher, but at least it will even out the power out there... In any event, it looks like either team will be investing a good chunk of their cap into the kid...

July 28th, 2007, 4:01 pm
LoL... Bruke is PISSED...

Ducks GM calls Edmonton offer to Penner 'gutless'

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Irate Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke on Friday called Edmonton's offer sheet to forward Dustin Penner "gutless."

Burke had especially harsh words for Oilers GM Kevin Lowe, saying, "Edmonton has offered a mostly inflated salary for a player, and I think it's an act of desperation for a general manager who is fighting to keep his job."

The Oilers signed Penner to a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet on Thursday. Burke said he wasn't upset that there was an offer sheet, but rather he was irked at the amount of money involved. Penner will go from earning a league minimum $450,000 to $4.25 million a year.

"I have no problem with offer sheets," Burke said, noting they are part of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.

"If you can identify a player and pay him appropriately and make him an offer, that's fine. At some point, the deals you make, the offers you extend, whether the team matches it or not, impacts all 30 teams, including your own."

The way the deal went down also irritated Burke.

"I was not notified of this until I was contacted by Dustin Penner's agent," he said on a conference call from British Columbia. "I would have done this differently, but then again I wouldn't have done this. I think some guys would have done it that way, yes."

The Stanley Cup champion Ducks have until Thursday to either match the offer or accept a first-round pick, a second-round pick and a third-round pick from Edmonton as compensation.

Burke would not say which way he was leaning. He plans to return to Anaheim on Sunday and meet with the team's owners.

He said talks with Penner, a restricted free agent, had not gone far. Asked if Anaheim's offer was anywhere close to Edmonton's offer sheet, Burke said, "The answer is a clear and unequivocal and instantaneous no."

It's the second time in three weeks that the Oilers have gone after a restricted free agent, trying but failing to get forward Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres on July 6. The Sabres matched Edmonton's $50 million, seven-year offer.

"Draw your own conclusions," Burke said.

The Ducks don't have much room under the salary cap. They are around $5 million below the $50.3 million maximum, although a team is allowed to be over the salary cap by 10 percent until Oct. 1.

The Ducks are still waiting on defenseman Scott Niedermayer and winger Teemu Selanne to decide whether they will retire or play next season.

Burke said he hadn't talked to either player recently.

"We've told them to take their time and when they've made a decision to let us know," he said."

July 30th, 2007, 5:42 pm
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