General manager Kevin Lowe wants to break up Anaheim's Kid Line and make Dustin Penner the newest Edmonton Oiler.
Lowe, who is trying to shore up his offence after failing to lure an unrestricted free-agent forward, signed the Ducks winger to a five-year offer sheet worth $21.25 million US.
Anaheim GM Brian Burke has seven days to match the offer. If he doesn't, the defending Stanley Cup champions would receive two first-round picks, a second-round choice and a third-rounder.
"We're going to wait and see what happens here in the next seven days before we make a comment," Penner's agent Gerry Johannson told the Canadian Press.
Management on both sides declined comment.
Penner shone on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry last season, notching 29 goals and 45 points in his first fullcampaign with the Ducks. The native of Winkler, Man., added eight points in 21 playoff games.
It is the second time this off-season Lowe has pursued a restricted free agent, trying but failing to get Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres earlier this month. Sabres GM Darcy Regier matched Edmonton's seven-year, $50-million offer.
The Penner signing would push Anaheim over the $50.3-million salary cap, though teams are allowed to exceed the limit by 10 per cent until Oct. 1. In other words, Burke could match and then decide how to get under the cap.
If all-star defenceman Scott Niedermayer follows through with retirement, Burke would save $6.75 million under the salary cap. But Anaheim would much rather have the 2007 playoff MVP back in the lineup and find another way to cut payroll.
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.