Winger Dustin Penner, acquired by the Kings from Edmonton on Monday, fell in love with Southern California when he played for the Ducks and bought a summer home in Newport Beach. He didn't expect to use his home during hockey season, but he spent Tuesday night there before participating in his first practice at the Kings' El Segundo training facility.

"I drove up this morning just to check out and see how long it took. Not bad," he said, estimating the travel time at about 45 minutes. "A lot shorter than some of the drives I had to Rexall from my place. That took an hour and 15 if there was light snow."

No snow to worry about here, but traffic can be challenging. Lakers star Kobe Bryant also lives in Newport Beach and has a helicopter to ferry him to games. It was suggested that Penner might grab a ride in the 'copter when Kobe isn't using it.

"If he wants to carpool I'll pay for gas," Penner offered. "If it's premium, maybe not."

Penner's first day on the ice with the Kings was taken up with learning a new system and the tendencies of his linemates, Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds. He knows defenseman Matt Greene and center Jarret Stoll from their days in Edmonton and Stoll pronounced the deal "a great pickup" because of Penner's strengths and because the Kings didn't have to give up a player from their current lineup. Their price was defense prospect Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in June and a conditional pick in 2012.

"He's great at controlling the puck and he's a big, strong guy. We've got some big, strong guys already but that just adds to it." Stoll said. "In the playoffs that's a real important factor to have. It could be a six- or seven-game series and you need big, strong bodies to go through that."

Penner, who will wear No. 25 when he makes his Kings debut Thursday against Phoenix at Staples Center, quickly made a favorable impression Wednesday on teammates who didn't know him well.

"He's a big boy out there. You don't really realize how big he is until he's off the skates," Simmonds said of his 6-foot-4, 240-pound linemate. "He's just a mammoth human being but at the same time he's got nice, soft hands and he can distribute the puck well. And he can score. He's got a good nose for the net. I'm looking forward to playing with him and Kopi.