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Darryl Sutter won’t play Dustin Penner until he works his “ass off”

Feb 14, 2012, 8:29 PM EDT

Darryl Sutter AP

Relatively speaking, Dustin Penner has been playing a little bit better the last couple months. The key phrase is “relatively speaking,” though, as he started off the 2011-12 season as a chunkier, less-compensated version of Scott Gomez.

The burly winger has been a healthy scratch for the last two games and only received 11:25 minutes of ice time in his last appearance, so it seems like he’s floating out of the Los Angeles Kings’ picture again. Matt Reitz caught up with Darryl Sutter, who provided a very blunt assessment of Penner:

Q: What’s the scenario for Penner right now?  What’s the message or what do you need to see?

Sutter: “Work your ass off. Then you get a chance to play again. If you don’t, you don’t. It’s pretty clear.”

Q: Is he back to square one as far as that’s concerned?

Sutter: “I think when you’re told to work your ass off, that IS square one.”

So, yeah … Penner’s not exactly in a great place right now. If the Kings want to unload the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent before the trade deadline, it’ll be pretty tough for GM Dean Lombardi to talk up the big winger’s value as anything more than an expiring contract.

That expiring contract is the most surprising part of this equation, though. You’d think if anything would get Penner motivated, it would be the prospect of earning another lucrative contract.

Instead, Penner’s game has been as flat as, well, a pancake.

  1. trbowman - Feb 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    The Kings really need to add someone like Hemsky.

  2. jeb7524 - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Love it

  3. blomfeld - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    COACH SUTTER KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON !

    We LA Kings fans have full confidence in Coach Sutter’s resolve and vision. Therefore, this “pancake-promoting” parasite had better “get” with the program or he’s history ! The Kings are now on the verge of an explosive and unprecedented “breakout” from their current doldrums … and so this is hardly the time for those with mixed emotions. Penner either gets going now with the Kings, or the Kings will get going without him. At the end of the day, it probably won’t make much difference, as Detroit and Vancouver are going to soon feel some heat, one way or the other !

    • canuckdude82 - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      I think the Kings are probably concentrating on keeping in the playoff picture. Catching Van and Det this year might be a little much to expect.

      • blomfeld - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM

        canuckdude82 – I concur that it may seem like a bit of a stretch at the moment … but just watch what happens now over the next few weeks ! … making the playoffs is already an afterthought in our minds, as we now prepare to launch a full-out attack upon you Canucks and Detroit (ie: French for “the narrows”) … considering your unabashed and self-assured bravado, you’d be well served to pay heed to the following, which features an “overly” confident unit of British grenadiers intoxicated on victory, attempting to swat aside a lowly French rear guard detachment during the Seven Years War …

  4. rainyday56 - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Get Penner to work? Good luck with THAT!

  5. kibbee2545 - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Send him to the RedWings he will learn how to play in hockey town

    • danphipps01 - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM

      You know, Wings fans confuse me. The Wings don’t built through free agent acquisitions, they build through homegrown prospects. Sure, they’ll sign a veteran forward here or there, but by and large they’re built on system guys.

      And yet, for all that, in every deadline frenzy, every year, without fail, there are Wings fans talking about getting every single player available. It baffles me. That’s not how the Wings WORK, people. I sort of figured their own fans might have noticed.

      • blomfeld - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:11 AM

        rainyday56, kibbee2545, danphipps01 … the lot of you !

        “Red Wings, Schmed Wings” say we LA Kings fans ! … you people are going to be pursued, caught and then in the end you’re going to be “crushed” ! … make no mistake about it, the LA Kings are now officially on the warpath ! … and so teams like you now have but one thing to to do … and that is to prepare yourselves !

  6. soupy19 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    I gotta say, I love blomfeld’s enthusiasm!

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