Penguins Sign Asham, Add Grit
With limited cash left under the NHL’s salary cap, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero had few options to bolster his roster in the latter part of free agency.
So, instead of signing a one-dimensional forward to fill a scoring role, he signed a gritty, energetic winger to fill an agitating role.
Arron Asham, 32, has signed a one-year contract with the Penguins that will pay him $700,000, according to the team web site.
Penguins fans likely are familiar with the pest, as he has played for three other Atlantic Division teams, including the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, in his 11-year career.
Most recently, Asham spent the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, totaling 44 points in 150 games.
Known more for his pugilism than his point production, Asham has amassed 818 penalty minutes in 648 career games, totaling 155 and 128 penalty minutes while with the Flyers.
He will join the likes of Matt Cooke, Mike Rupp, and Craig Adams as the Penguins’ “bash brothers” crew of agitating forwards. Add in Tyler Kennedy and Max Talbot who play high energy, aggressive hockey, and it’s difficult to imagine a more difficult group of third and fourth liners to play against in the NHL.
The signing brings the Penguins to 12 forwards with one-way contracts. While it previously was believed one of the Penguins’ prospects, most notably Eric Tangradi, would be handed a roster spot, the Asham signing likely means any rookie with NHL aspirations will have to earn a roster spot.