Dustin Penner is the newest Oiler after Anaheim general manager Brian Burke chose not to match Edmonton's five-year, $21.25-million US offer sheet on Thursday.
The Ducks will receive a first, second and third-round draft pick as compensation for Penner, who was a restricted free agent.
Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe signed Penner to a five-year offer sheet after failing to get Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres last month. Sabres GM Darcy Regier matched Edmonton's seven-year, $50-million offer.
"We're going to take three draft picks back and given Kevin's recent performance, I expect them to be excellent picks," Burke said on Thursday.
Penner is thefirst player to switch teams as a result of an offer sheet in a decade, after Tampa Bay declined to match the offer Philadelphia made to Chris Gratton in 1997.
Lowe was unapologetic Thursday for exercising the rarely used option.
"There's almost some insinuation from managers that because we're friends, we shouldn't be doing this to one another," he said. "I think our responsibility is not to one another, but is to our fan base and our ownership."
The Penner signing would have pushed Anaheim over the $50.3-million salary cap, though teams are allowed to exceed the limit by 10 per cent until Oct. 1.
Penner, 24, will average $4.25 million per year in his new deal after earning $425,000 last season.
Burkehad a week to match the offer and waited until the deadline had passed before announcing he was letting Penner go.
The six-foot-four right-wingershone on Anaheim's Kid Line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry last season, notching 29 goals and 45 points in his first full campaign with the Ducks, winning a Stanley Cup last season.
The native of Winkler, Man., added eight points in 21 playoff games.
"I know myself I didn't peak this last year as a player in Anaheim," Penner said. "I don't know what my potential is, but I think in the next five years, I'll find out."
Undrafted by NHL teams, the six-foot-four, 243-pound Penner was signed by former Ducks GM Bryan Murray as a free agent out of U.S. college in May 2004. He has played in 101 regular season gamesover his short career.