And that's not the joke here.
In fact, physical conditioning was about the only thing Penner was serious about during an extended conversation at the Kings training facility today, as Development Camp wrapped up. The talk went on so long they were literally shutting off the lights above the rink as we covered everything from his off-season workouts to NHL marketing strategies.
Like he talked about in an exclusive MayorsManor interview (linked here) a few weeks ago, since the season ended he's been training extensively with Kings strength and conditioning guru Tim Adams. For more on what that means exactly, take a look at what Penner shared today...
On coming to El Segundo for the workouts - "I bargained for three days a week, to save money on gas and save the environment because I'm going green. So, I come up here for the big days - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Usually, I'm up around quarter to seven and it takes about an hour to get here and then I'll work out from 8 am to, between 11:30 and 1, depending on what type of workout it is.'
On the type of workouts - "First, there's a 'warm-up' - and I'd put quotations around that. It's about 15 exercises and 50 reps each exercise, one to three times though. That's just 'warm-up', so that can take an hour. And then you go to the track, the soccer field or the beach, which we did for the first time today, and do lunges. We do different variations - like after that you rotate it 45-degrees and step out, and do that backwards."
More on the lunges - "The funny thing is we started at about 1,000 (yards of lunges) the third week of May. I said 'Are you kidding me?' He said 'Just wait until July and we'll be doing 2,000 a day.' I can't wait for 1,000 again."
On how much weight training is involved - "After we regain consciousness we get back and we have six to eight exercises of six reps of five - or variations of that, three sets of five or four sets of four. That's another hour or so."
On looking like he's lost about 15 pounds - "I can't even put a number on it. Well, there's the tan too. I've also been going to the beach. No sense working out if you're not going go to the beach, right?"
On the intensity of the workouts - "I think the duration of it is more new (to me). Most of my workouts in the summers (before) have been around two hours, maybe a little longer, depending on the day - along with an ice time session. Now, it's pretty much an 8-2 job. It's different for a lot of guys who have come from other teams to here. I think we all share that feeling where we weren't used to this type of intensity...I think you can attribute some of their (the Kings) start last year to their training in the off-season...With the team we have this year and everybody on the same page as far as that goes, we'll be tough to stop."
On the Kings signing Simon Gagne - "He's scored 30 goals, I think in three seasons he's done that. And he's always been an upper-echelon player. He was an All-Star and an Olympian, if I'm not mistaken (yes, 2002). But, either way, he's worn the Canadian sweater, I know that - something I haven't done. He's a great player and when he's healthy, and I think he will be for camp and for the whole season. I think it's going to look pretty daunting when you look at the top two or three lines."
On the possible line combinations for next season - "I don't know where I'll play, with who. It doesn't matter because I think we're going to be a threat through all four lines, as you saw in the playoffs."
On chemistry that was starting to develop with Anze Kopitar before his injury - "Before the injury (to Kopitar) I think I had a point a game. So...obviously, he's a big body. He's plays every inch of the ice, on both sides of the puck. He's a great player. So, I can't wait to build some more chemistry, something more habitual than maybe just a lucky streak of 15 games."
On dealing with the criticism he received last year - "This wasn't my first year in the league. I've been criticized for a while. It bothers me less and less. One thing I can say, I don't know if you watch the Simpsons - but, that episode with Darryl Strawberry...when it starts 'Darryl..' and there's a tear in his eye. I used to laugh at that. Now I don't. That's the only difference."
Have things calmed down compared to where they were when the trade first happened? - "Everything has calmed down, as far as the family and the kid having a school. We’re at home now, so it;s been a great summer as far as that goes. I've gotten into a routine and I'm looking forward to the season starting."
On personal goals for next season - "Well, winning is one of them. I want to set personal bests in my statistical categories and then just improve as a player, become more of a leader and things like that. What the great players do is, they're always looking to improve facets of their game. I think, with these workouts, I’m on the right track."
With a possible basketball lockout, the NHL has a real chance to make an impression on the market. Do the players talk about that at all? - "That's a real good question. I'll send out a petition around the room to see what they think. (The NHL could use it to their advantage, perhaps with a marketing slogan like) 'Your only choice!' or 'What else are you going to do on a Friday night?'"
On his interactions with the coaching staff this summer - "I've gotten to know them a lot better. On a day to day basis it just becomes more of a comfort level with the guys. It's good to see all of them. I talk to Terry (Murray), Jamie (Kompon), John (Stevens), Ryan (Colville), Tim (Adams), Dean (Lombardi) - pretty much everybody. It's a really good situation here for the guys who live in the area because this is where they come to work everyday. So, you see the managers and the staff."
On Dean Lombardi's comment that he needs to decide if he wants to be a softball player or NHL player - "I’m a pretty good softball player. (laughs)...What he's saying, I think, is that if you’re an intelligent hockey player and you're in the position I'm in - I know what he’s saying and I know what he wants out of me. It’s just more kindling for the fire."
On other changes he's made this summer - "With these workouts it's tough to make it to midnight. I'm usually in bed around 11. That's pretty much all the changes. Oh - and I go through shoes quicker."
Is that good for your shoe sponsor? - "I don't have one. Twitter that."
Dustin Penner ladies and gentleman.
He would be doing two shows nightly. However, like he said, he can't stay up too late. Tim Adams is working him into supreme game shape.
Penner 2.0 is set to make his debut later this fall, most likely on the top line. That's what coach Terry Murray said this afternoon. I'll have those comments up later. [two updates: Murray on line combos and his thoughts on Penner's training]
In the meantime, if you've missed some of Penner's previous MayorsManor interviews, please check out some of the links below.
Or...to read comments from Brandon Kozun, Linden Vey, Joel Lowry, etc. following yesterday's prospect scrimmage click here (note: at the bottom of that article there are also links to several EXCLUSIVE pre-camp interviews with guys like Tyler Toffoli, Jordan Weal, Michael Schumacher, JF Berube and many more).
Dustin Penner comments on PennerMania
Penner explains the Penner Cup
Dustin Penner on his possible 'out body experience'
Penner's special relationship with the Dallas Stars
Chirping with Dustin Penner
Dustin Penner and the compounding pressure
Ian Laperriere on the Mike Richards vs. Chris Pronger feud
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