Personal problems have a way of affecting your work. That “way” to which I refer varies depending on the person and personality but few thing in life have an impact more than death or divorce. Dustin Penner is going through the latter. She just filed. I don’t yet have a link for this (update: Link here).
I don’t know much about Dustin Penner’s personal life but his marriage to Jessica Welch has been the stuff of secondary internet news (not from the major players) for a while. Jessica Welch was previously married to cut throat Richard Zednik.
Divorce is often preceded by marital problems. Marital problems manifest themselves outside the marriage with a lack of focus, effort and inconsistency. For a light hearted, type B guy like Dustin Penner who probably internalizes his emotions, these problems and now a divorce can take an emotional toll. You don’t hear it in his voice or words. He can be all smiles. You see it through his conduct.
Does this explain Penner’s on ice issues since he came to the L.A. Kings? Perhaps. He is getting paid a lot of money though and your first instinct may be to chastise him for letting his personal life adversely impact his game. I would respond he is a human being before a hockey player and comes with our frailties.