Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - When the Anaheim Ducks open up the 2013-14 season against the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night, a key veteran free-agent addition will not be in the lineup.
Dustin Penner, an unrestricted free-agent forward who signed a one-year contract worth $2 million with his former club, was listed as a healthy scratch.
"We really are counting on Dustin to be a big part of this club," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said earlier on Wednesday. "And I just think you have to reward certain people for having good training camps and you have to make a point of, if you don't have a great training camp that this isn't just given to you.
"In Dustin's defense, the last 10 days he's worked extremely hard. He's not quite where he wants to be but he's getting closer, a lot closer than when he first came into camp. (Patrick) Maroon earned the first game."
Penner totaled just two goals and 12 assists in 33 regular-season games for the Kings last season, but added three goals and five points in 18 playoff contests. He was a member of the Kings' Stanley Cup winners in 2012, posting 17 points in 65 regular-season games and 11 points in 20 postseason tilts.
The 31-year-old winger began his career with the Anaheim franchise, making his NHL debut in the 2005-06 season. In his first full season in 2006-07, Penner tallied 29 goals and 45 points while playing in all 82 regular-season games, then helped the Ducks win their first and only Cup with eight points that postseason.
In other roster news, Anaheim assigned forward Devante Smith-Pelly to Norfolk of the American Hockey League, and activated forward Jakob Silfverberg from injured reserve.
Silfverberg was acquired in an early July deal which saw Bobby Ryan head to Ottawa.