Originally posted on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 2/29/12

If you've followed the Los Angeles Kings this year you're aware that Dustin Penner hasn't been very effective this season. He has just 13 points in 47 games and is on pace for his worst season since he became a regular NHL player back in 2006-07. 

Penner's name has found itself into the headlines this season but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. In January, Penner injured his back while "dipping into delicious pancakes". The media, as you'd imagine, took the story and ran it for everything it was worth pun after pun to mock Penner's misfortune. Penner took the odd injury in stride, turning it into a boost for the team's charity, Kings Care Foundation, by hosting an event where he served up - you guessed it - pancakes to fans. 

Today, news broke that unfortunately we can't really laugh at or spin positively. Penner's wife Jessica Welch, the one who made him the "delicious pancakes", has filed for divorce. It's safe to say that 2011-12 will go down as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for Dustin Penner. 

You've got to feel for the guy. Barring celebrity marriages that last only a handful of hours, it's never fun to hear of a divorce being filed. For Welch, this is familiar territory as she was previously married to former NHL skater Richard Zednik between 2005 and 2009. In 2011, Welch got hitched to Penner. The two do not have any children together. 

As a writer, I try to strictly analyze what a player is doing on the ice for his team. I don't think it's fair to pry deep into the personal lives of players. I like to keep their private lives exactly that - private. However, in some cases a player's personal life plays a direct role with the product we see on the ice. In Penner's case, it's reasonable to believe that his relationship with Welch off the ice might have been a major factor in the forward's dismal play this season. 

Penner has looked like a completely different player in 2011-12, confusing analyzsts and outraging Los Angeles fans. He is known for using his size to his advantage, parking in front of the crease and making life miserable for opposing goaltenders and defenders. This season he has drifted, for lack of a better word. He looks like a man lost in his own thoughts - a statement that likely is pretty accurate following today's news. 

At this stage, Penner has two roads in which to choose from. He might continue to struggle, sinking further into his own mind due to the issues occuring away from the rink. Honestly, who would blame him? However, perhaps Penner will rebound using his personal issues as motivation to work harder than ever before on the ice. Maybe Penner's head will finally gain some clarity now that he knows the outcome of his marriage, allowing him to return to form and once again be an effective offensive weapon. 

Here's to wishing Penner the best. Pancakes on us. 



Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Art Briles sues Baylor officials for libel, slander

Giants FB has home vandalized with swastika, Trump's name

Raiders G Kelechi Osemele out Thursday with illness

Red Sox send Brewers $100 as final piece of Tyler Thornburg deal

Troy Aikman almost came out of retirement to play for the Eagles


Blues miss morning skate due to traffic in Brooklyn

Oregon president no fan of DC Brady Hoke

Carmelo blows off Jackson's ball hog remarks, looks 'annoyed'

Richard Sherman gives logical take on Cam Newton's benching

Sandoval's career fell 'into an abyss' after getting 'complacent'

Report: NFL believes Oakland ‘has no strong desire’ to keep the Raiders

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Four stinkiest games remaining on the 2016 NFL schedule

Ten young NBA players developing into stars

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

Ten most intriguing non-NY6 bowl games

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker