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The Ice Man Cometh!

Dustin Penner’s back, and he’s got his eye on Stanley.

Dustin Penner

When Dustin Penner goes out to dinner in his hockey-crazed homeland of Canada, the newly signed Anaheim Duck gets photo requests that are instantly posted to Instagram, and his eating habits are critiqued online by obsessed fans. In Newport Beach, where he lives, he can go to his favorite haunts—including Javier’s at Crystal Cove, Bear Flag Fish Co. and 21 Oceanfront—undetected. “I like that I’m not being watched all the time,” says Penner, a two-time Stanley Cup winner. Although, being a professional hockey player living on the Balboa Peninsula does have its downsides—like the nearest hockey rink is more than 20 minutes away. “In Canada, we have as many hockey rinks as there are basketball courts here,” he says with a laugh.

Penner, a left winger from the small town of Winkler, has one of the more inspirational stories. He was cut from several minor league teams and went undrafted by the National Hockey League. But he signed as a free agent with the Ducks and, in his first full season in 2007, helped the team bring home the Stanley Cup. Then last year—his first season with the Los Angeles Kings—he won his second Stanley Cup. “I never stopped believing in myself,” he says. “I knew one day I would make it.”

After leaving the Kings at the end of last season, Penner rejoined the Ducks, signing a one-year, $2 million deal and hoping to win his third Stanley with a team that fell just short of the finals last season. “More so than some other seasons, we have a good chance to win,” he says.

In his downtime, the 31-year-old bachelor hangs at the beach with his German shepherd, Ryvack, and with friends who “work regular 8-to-5 jobs,” he says. “It makes me more grateful that I can play the sport I love for a living.”