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Asham Looking Forward To Penguins Debut

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
The news on the Penguins’ injury front continues to improve with head coach Dan Bylsma’s announcement following practice on Tuesday at the St. Pete Times Forum that forward Arron Asham will make his Penguins and 2010-11 debut on Wednesday night against the Lightning.

Penguins forward Arron Asham will make his 2010-11 season debut on Wednesday against the Lightning.
Asham, who was signed by the Penguins as a free agent on Aug. 20 after two seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, has been out of the lineup since exiting a preseason game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 1 with an upper-body injury.

The rugged 32-year-old forward will play the right wing on the fourth line with Mike Rupp and Craig Adams as he works to get his timing back.

“I anticipate seeing him in different spots, especially after a power play,” Bylsma said. “We'll use him in other spots, but that's where he'll start (on the fourth line). We'll see how it goes, where his conditioning is at as the game moves on.”

Asham doesn’t care what line he plays on or what his role is, he is just anxious to get back into game action, develop chemistry with his linemates and show his new employers what he has to offer.

“It's always tough coming to a new team and being injured the first month of the season,” Asham said. “It's nice to get out there and try to create some chemistry with the guys that I'm playing with, and try to win a hockey game.”

Although Asham has been able to participate in practice with his teammates for a week now, he knows it is going to take a level of adjustment getting back into a live game.

“For timing, it'll take a game or two,” Asham said. “I feel great on the ice right now. My speed is there and I'm feeling the puck well. It's just getting into game situations, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.”

The Penguins are equally as thrilled to watch Asham do what he does best – score goals and pester the opposition with his physical play.

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A four-time double-digit goal scorer, Asham is one of those agitating presences who is also capable of playing up and down the lineup and contributing on the score sheet. While he hopes to provide the Penguins with more secondary scoring, he is also aware of what he needs to do to be effective each time he jumps on the ice.

“I can add another level of physicality and grittiness,” said Asham, whose 24 points (10G-14A) and 126 penalty minutes last season with Philadelphia were the second-highest totals of his career. “I'll bring energy, fight if I have to, do the right things. Our goal is to win hockey games and get to where we want to be. I'll do whatever I can to help this team.”

As far as the injury is concerned, Asham doesn’t expect to feel any effects once the puck is dropped on Wednesday.

“It feels good,” Asham said. “I'm ready for the game. I have no worries about (the injury). I'm just excited to get out there.”

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