The new Madman of Alberta, aka Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe, has tried to spice things up once again this summer. After failing to obtain restricted free agent Tomas Vanek from Buffalo with a $7 million/year deal, he has now extended an offer sheet to Dustin Penner of the Anaheim Ducks for more than $4 million per season for five years! Yes, he's giving that much to a guy coming off a rookie year on a Stanley Cup championship squad. Granted, he scored 29 goals (against a Shot Quality-based Expected Goals value of 28.8, so its not like he was just a lucky shooter), but this would appear to be another case of a GM falling in love with a big guy and projecting only the positives going forward, a la Chris Gratton.
It will be interesting to see the reaction in Anaheim, where GM Brian Burke has never been shy of showing his feelings in the media. Buffalo GM Darcy Regeir whined pathetically about retaliation down the road when the Vanek offer came through, but I'm guessing Burke's response will be a bit more direct.