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Champion Kings re-sign Dustin Penner for one season

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Despite a rather awful regular season that included one of the weirdest stories of the year that involved injurious pancakes, the Los Angeles Kings are keeping Dustin Penner around for another season.

Penner and the Kings reached a one-year deal worth $3.25 million. Reminder: Penner scored seven goals and had 10 assists this season for the Kings and was booed by the hometown fans. Still, they are giving him some big bucks to return and prove that maybe that rough patch is behind him.

For as bad as Penner was during the season, he was much, much better come playoff time. In the 20 postseason games the Kings had Penner scored three goals with eight assists. One of those goals, you'll remember, put the Kings into the Stanley Cup Final, ousting the Phoenix Coyotes in overtime of Game 5.

He also began playing with his massive size and made the Kings that much deeper of a team with his increased presence in the playoffs. The hope is that continuing to play under Darryl Sutter, that form will remain.

"Like I said, I had taken the blue pill last time," Penner said Sunday. "This time, I wanted to take the red pill, if you follow The Matrix trilogy at all."

Exactly what I was thinking.

Perhaps one reason why Penner was able to get a deal that rich is because of his previous contract. He was carrying a salary of $4.25 million the past couple of seasons, so he already took a 25 percent pay cut, I guess it's hard to ask a guy to take much more of that when you want him to re-sign.

That and it's just a one-year contract. Obviously both sides are OK with Penner having this season to prove he's worth more, but maybe to convince Penner to go along with that, they had to give him enough money in a one-year deal to make it worth his while.

There's no word whether or not Penner signed his contract with maple syrup.

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