Now that the facts have settled and confirmed about today’s NHL trades, it is safe to write this story! The Anaheim Ducks decided to trade fourth-round pick Dustin “Pancakes” Penner to the Washington Capitals today to acquire 37 year-old defenseman Stephane Robidas from the Dallas Stars. Now before we get all frustrated about this trade, let’s review the facts and stats on these two players. Yes, Penner has been in the NHL for eight years and has earned two Stanley Cup Championship rings, both in Southern California.
The rest of the NHL chatters about California not being a hockey state… whatever you say! In returning to Orange County, Penner has only produced 13 goals and 19 assists as a second term Duck in the 2013-2014 NHL season. So does this really surprise you that his term in Anaheim was on borrowed time? In contrast, the Ducks now have Robidas, who has only played 24 games this season for Dallas due to a broken leg injury back in November 2013 against the dreaded Chicago Blackhawks, yet has scored four goals and had one assist in those 24 games. Robidas’ stats from last season aren’t very impressive either, only one goal scored and 12 assists. The league average in comparing skaters is 6.0 goals thus far in the season. Sure, Robidas is a defenseman and has a reputation of having a great shot and knowing exactly what to do with the puck when he has possession, but where did this idea come from? Since the Ducks are on the right path to the playoffs, the coaching staff needed to trim down their roster to prepare for the upcoming 20 game stretch. Robidas has appeared in a total of 44 career Stanley Cup Playoff games and has played for Montreal, Chicago, and Dallas. Penner was given plenty of opportunities to prove himself as a big asset to the roster, yet unfortunately ended up being a healthy scratch for head coach Bruce Boudreau on numerous occasions.
In other news, Viktor Fasth was shipped off to Edmonton to become an Oiler for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in 2015. Poor Fasth has been out since November 2013 with muscle inflammation. Remember how well Fasth played when Jonas Hiller was out for nearly four months due to his own injuries? In the 2012-2013 season, Fasth played 25 games, had 23 goals saved, with 15 wins and 6 losses. In 2013-2014, he only played 5 games, but had 5 goals saved with 2 wins and 2 losses. Since the Ducks have plenty of upcoming talent with Frederik Andersen and John Gibson, it seems that they felt confident with letting Fasth go. However, Hiller is a free-agent at the end of this current season, which is another issue, yet there is a lot of chatter about how the Ducks shouldn’t be worried and that he is to stay put in Anaheim.
So what do I think about all of this? I think that the Penner trade was lame, considering the age of Mr. Robidas. I am not saying that age has anything to do with his game, considering Teemu Selanne, who is a hockey god in terms of performance and ability. I believe that Penner has a lot of potential and that he is a solid left winger who can turn on his game when it is needed. Perhaps if he would have shown that to Boudreau, he would have remained in sunshine-y Southern California. That’s too bad because I enjoyed seeing him in Newport Beach at Baja Sharkeez! As for Fasth being shipped off to Edmonton, I feel bad for the guy because he has a lot of promise. I think that his injury really messed up his chances and that this trade happened under unfortunate circumstances. Let’s see what happens in the next few days because the Ducks have a tendency of being very unpredictable during trade deadlines!