Ducks decline offer sheet, Dustin Penner signs with Edmonton

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Penner became a member of the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday after the Anaheim Ducks declined to match a US$21.25-million, five-year contract offer.

The Ducks will receive a first-, second-, and third-round draft pick as compensation.

After earning $425,000 last season, Penner signed the offer sheet with Edmonton last week for a contract that will average $4.25 million per year.

Anaheim had a week to match that offer and waited right until the deadline had passed before announcing it was letting the 24-year-old leave.

He's the first player to switch teams under such circumstances since Tampa Bay declined to match the offer Philadelphia gave to Chris Gratton in 1997.

Penner scored 29 goals and had 16 assists for 45 points in his first full NHL season.

He was an undrafted U.S. college player that signed with Anaheim as a free agent in 2004.

Last month, the Oilers signed restricted free agent Thomas Vanek to a $50-million, seven-year offer sheet, but the Buffalo Sabres matched it.

After Edmonton tendered its offer to Penner last Thursday, Ducks GM Brian Burke expressed his anger at the move.

"I have no problem with offer sheets, they are part of the CBA," Burke said on a conference call. "I think it's a tool certainly a team is entitled to use. "My issue here is this is the second time this year in my opinion Edmonton have offered a grossly inflated salary for a player, and it impacts on all 30 teams."



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