Nov 2, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Anaheim Ducks left wing Dustin Penner (17) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Anaheim beats Buffalo 6 to 3. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins Should Invite Dustin Penner To Camp

It’s anybody’s guess as to how the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lines will look come Oct. 9 – opening day – but general manager Jim Rutherford could look to invite more players to training camp, and make matters even more confusing.

According to Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it’s quite possible Rutherford may be inclined to add more players into training camp for head coach Mike Johnston.

If Rutherford is interested in inviting players to camp, and given the fact Sidney Crosby‘s right-winger is still uncertain, would giving Dustin Penner a call be an option?

Penner, 31, was having a phenomenal season with the Anaheim Ducks before getting traded to Washington at the deadline, and is a big body that Crosby lacks on that top pairing. Given his experience out west, and now in the east, Penner’s addition could be extremely beneficial to Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-4, 242-pound winger recorded 32 points (13G, 19A) and skated to an outstanding plus-22 rating in 49 regular-season tilts for Anaheim last season, and if Penner’s placed alongside scorers just as, if not more, prolific as the Ducks’ forwards, Rutherford could have himself a gem looking to establish prominence again, after being sort of an afterthought this summer.

But, even if Pittsburgh doesn’t have any intentions to sign him – because their cap may prevent it, unless they do some maneuvering – they can still give Penner a look during camp. It doesn’t hurt, right? And if Pittsburgh views him to be a greater asset in a long run over guys whose contract is minimal, it wouldn’t kill them to add more depth at the wing.

Not too long ago, this guy was rackin’ up 30-plus goals for the putrid Edmonton Oilers, and given he’s probably more motivated than ever to get a contract next season, for those reasons, Rutherford should strongly consider him.

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