It would appear to be all but a forgone conclusion that the Dustin Penner era with the Los Angeles Kings has come to an end.

With the salary cap dropping to $64.3 million and the Kings already committed to just over $56 million to 15 players with eight players still to sign to fill out the 23-man roster, there just isn’t enough left in the kitty to pay Penner who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.

Penner is coming off a 1-year, $3.25 million contract and though he will likely have to take a paycut regardless of where he signs, Penner is likely to field offers in the range of $1.5-$2 million per season. The Kings would only be in a position to offer him a deal in the area of $800-900K.

When general manager Dean Lombardi made the trade to acquire Penner in February of 2011, he thought he was getting a four-time 20-goal scorer who would easily slide in as one of the team’s top six forwards. At 6-foot-4 and 242 pounds, Penner has the size that should allow him to be one of the league’s top power forwards. But in 117 regular season games with the Kings, he scored a disappointing 11 goals and 26 assists, never solidifying his role on the team and even found himself a healthy scratch on numerous occasions.

Still the two time Stanley Cup Champion (L.A. and Anaheim) seemed to save his best for the postseason. Despite scoring just seven playoff goals with the Kings, he had a knack for scoring big time goals when it mattered most.