Dustin Penner: Off The Ice


I was having an interesting evening, to say the least, with my good friend the other night in Newport Beach. We were hanging out at Baja Sharkeez and were enjoying the sights and sounds of the bar. After being hit on by one guy and having my engagement ring serve as a deterrent, my friend and I found ourselves being hit up and hit on by another man who was a lot older than us. He even called himself out on that fact, which made it even more hilarious that he continued to talk to us! That conversation with that older gentleman went on for way too long, and the night got even more interesting when a few of the Sharkeez staff brought a full-on toilet out from the back room and continued into the men’s restroom to what I perceived as a pit-crew maneuver swap of a toilet. I then looked at my friend and said, “And I thought I’ve seen everything…”, as I busted up and we had a good laugh about our whole evening experience as we sipped our snow cone drinks.

Just as we were wiping the tears from our eyes from laughter, I saw a tall guy who looked very familiar waltz right in and continued to high five and chat up all the bartenders. I looked at her to confirm my observation and exclaimed, “That’s Dustin Penner!” She immediately told me, “Go and get a picture!” She knows how big of a Ducks’ fan I am and was egging me on to muster up the courage to do it. Let me tell you the truth, I was very star struck and nervous about the idea. I felt awkward about the idea of going up to a stranger, who just happens to be one of my favorite players, and interrupting his good time that he was about to have. Then I talked myself into it and realized that if I didn’t ask for a picture that I would probably not have such an opportunity in the future.

Dustin Penner and myself

I then gained my confidence, with the help from a little liquid courage and my friend’s support and approached Mr. 6’4” Penner. I said, “Hey, I am sorry to bother you but I am a huge fan and would love a picture with you.” He smiled and said, “Fan of what?” So I replied with, “Um, duh, you and the Ducks!” knowing that he totally can sense that I was digging this whole experience. Then he said, “Well is my face going to be in it?” I replied, “Nope, I am most likely going to blur it out.” He chuckled and then his friend took the picture for us. I then said thank you, exclaimed how awesome he was, gave him a high-five (which I now regret because I feel like it was a dork move), and went on my merry way. But you know what I did do that I was really proud of? I told him that I am blogging for Pucks of a Feather, and he actually asked for my name! I was super stoked that he was interested in what I had to say and actually leaned in when I was talking so that he could hear me. He was very approachable, had a great sense of humor, and really made my evening. What a class act! Good luck with the rest of the season, Penner! Go #17!

[editorial note:] In order to validate this event, we did not blur out Dustin Penner’s face, “pictures or it didn’t happen”! ~Dani