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Being buyers instead of sellers at the deadline is an unusual role for Lombardi and the Kings, who just ended an eight-year playoff drought last spring. Lombardi started his tenure in Los Angeles by dumping assets late in most seasons, but his Kings are in the playoff picture again this year, sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference standings with 11 wins in 15 games before meeting Detroit.Penner, a four-time 20-goal scorer, leaves the league-worst Oilers in a deal for defenseman Teubert, the Kings' first-round pick in 2008, along with the draft picks.
Penner is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and he could suit up for Thursday's home game against Phoenix.
Lombardi is a notoriously cautious GM committed to building from within the organization and refusing to overpay for free agents. He was outbid by New Jersey's exorbitant contract for superstar Ilya Kovalchuk last summer, but Lombardi eagerly rolled the dice on Penner after chasing the former Anaheim Ducks forward for more than a month.
In Penner, the Kings get a 6-foot-4, 245-pound forward who has 21 goals this season. He had 32 goals and 31 assists last season.
Lombardi envisions using Penner on a line with leading scorer Anze Kopitar, a similarly physical forward who could create matchup nightmares for opponents' defenses.
"I think our team deserved this," Lombardi said, citing the Kings' 6-1-3 performance on a mammoth February road trip that rescued their season. "The players drove me to this, going on that road trip and saying ... 'Make us better without taking anybody out of the room."'
Penner has been the subject of Oilers' fans displeasure since he signed a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet that the Ducks declined to match. The contract angered then-Anaheim general manager Brian Burke, who blamed Kevin Lowe, Edmonton's president of hockey operations, for inflating the value of young restricted free agents.
"There were ups and downs," Penner said Monday of his time in Edmonton. "I had a decent first year. The second year was something I think a lot of people would like to forget. The last two I've enjoyed thoroughly.
"I came here with a big contract ... that also comes with big expectations and if I tried to meet everyone's expectations I would drive myself insane. So I focused on becoming more consistent and a player who could play every position. I think I'm on my way to that, I'm not there yet and it's too bad I won't be able to do it here."
Southern California is familiar turf for Penner, 28, who won a Stanley Cup in Anaheim in 2006-07. He will see familiar faces in the Kings' locker room in former Oilers teammates Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll. Penner also kept his home in California, and described the Kings as "one of the better places I could go."
"It's our job to get him in here and make him part of the family," Lombardi said. "Obviously, he was passionate about his colors, and that's good."
Penner, 28, has one more year left on his contract that pays him $4.25 million.Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.