Anaheim Ducks forward Dustin Penner allegedly asked an L.A. County judge to approve his divorce from actress Jessica Welch amid claims that the ongoing legal battle will affect his on-ice performance.
"I am 30 years old. It is important for me psychologically to enter the upcoming season with this dissolution finally behind me so I can try to secure a multiyear contract,” Penner stated in legal documents obtained by TMZ. "Training camp starts Sept. 21st and I would like to have this matter completed before then."
Welch filed for divorce in February 2012, citing irreconcilable differences, TMZ reports. Although the couple quickly came to a settlement agreement, the divorce proceedings had yet to conclude after more than a year, prompting Penner’s alleged request to expedite the process.
The L.A. County Superior Court judge granted Penner’s request, finalizing the divorce from Welch on Sept. 9, TMZ claims. However, Penner disputed TMZ's report in a Twitter post on Monday. "That's not entirely accurate but you guys have your fun. Must of been a realll1ly slow news day," Penner tweeted.
This is the second time that Welch has divorced a hockey player. The former “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” actress was married to NHL veteran Richard Zednik from 2005 to 2009.
This isn’t the first time that Penner and Welch have found themselves in the headlines. In January 2012, Penner, then a member of the Los Angeles Kings, told reporters that he’d missed several hockey games after injuring his back while eating a batch of his wife’s pancakes.
According to Penner’s account, he leaned over to begin eating the pancakes, only to suffer severe back spasms. "Apparently it's one of those mysterious things, where you can throw it out sneezing," Penner told LA Kings Insider." I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made. It's just like it wraps around you and squeezes." The pain was reportedly so severe that Welch had to help Penner get dressed. The incident is widely considered one of the strangest occurrences in sports history.
Penner is an eight-year veteran of the NHL and has played for the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings. The 30-year-old forward has played on two Stanley Cup teams.