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Rangers add Asham as likely Prust replacement

Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 3:19 PM / NHL Free Agency 2012

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Rangers add Asham as likely Prust replacement
Forward Arron Asham agreed to a two-year contract with the Rangers for a reported $2 million.

With Brandon Prust leaving via free agency, the New York Rangers made a move to fill the void Sunday.

Forward Arron Asham agreed to a two-year contract with the Rangers for a reported $2 million. Asham spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins and will replace the toughness lost with Prust's departure.

About an hour after the Asham signing, Prust agreed to a deal with the Montreal Canadiens worth a reported four years and $10 million.

The 34-year-old Asham isn't just a fighter. The right wing has scored at least 10 goals four times in his career and had five goals and 11 assists in 64 games with the Penguins last season.

One area in which Asham will be unable to replace Prust is on the penalty kill. Prust played 1:40 of shorthanded ice time per game for the Rangers last season; Asham is not a penalty killer.

In 756 career games, Asham has 92 goals, 114 assists and 940 career penalty minutes. By signing with the Rangers, Asham will have played for every team in the Atlantic Division.

Earlier in the day, the Rangers re-signed defenseman Stu Bickel to a two-year deal. Bickel served as the team's sixth defenseman after Steve Eminger, who is also likely gone via free agency, was injured early last season.

The Rangers also agreed to terms with Islanders forward Micheal Haley on a two-year deal, according to ESPN New York. The 26-year-old Haley, who has 151 PIMs in 43 career games, will likely serve as organizational depth with Hartford of the AHL.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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With this being the last year [at the Coliseum], we'd love to try to get back to the dance like we did against Pittsburgh and prove ourselves and go even further. It's an important year.

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