Dustin Penner, the New Kris Versteeg: Why the LA Kings Overpaid

It seems the Philadelphia Flyers set a rather expensive precedent with their blockbuster acquisition of former Toronto Maple Leaf Kris Versteeg a few weeks ago.

When the Flyers sent their first- and third-round picks to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Flyers basically set the price for similarly valued Dustin Penner. 

And the Kings were willing to pay it.

They have sent their first round pick, a conditional second round pick next year, and defensive prospect Colten Teubert to the rebuilding Edmonton Oilers for Penner. You have to wonder—was the price too high?

Consider the Versteeg trade, as it is the most similar one that has occurred in the NHL this season. Versteeg has been getting top-six minutes with the offensively loaded Flyers, and seeing some time on the power play. But he has struggled to find chemistry with his teammates, and has only one goal (an empty-netter) and one assist in his first six games with his new club.

An argument could be made that both Versteeg and Penner have time left on their current contracts and are not rentals. They were acquired for the long haul. But if the future is what matters, not winning now, why send so much potential future value away?

Now, to be fair, it's possible that Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini demanded such a high price, and that the Versteeg deal had no impact whatsoever on this one. But even if that is the case, is Dustin Penner truly worth the price? Yes, he is a Stanley Cup winner (with the Ducks in 2007), and he has shown flashes of offensive brilliance. In an absolute best-case scenario, he finds chemistry with playmaker Anze Kopitar on the top line, something Los Angeles has been searching for all year after the Marco Sturm experiment failed.

But who's to say such chemistry is likely, or even possible?

Head coach Terry Murray has tried Andrei Loktionov, the aforementioned Marco Sturm, Dustin Brown, Bra...

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