After battling through injuries for much of last season, Arron Asham exploded onto the scene in the playoffs.
He was arguably the best player on the squad in the Penguins' opening round series versus Tampa Bay. In seven games he posted a team-leading three goals and four points, while recording a career-high four-game scoring streak.
His four points tied for the team lead while his 21 hits paced the squad – and he did all of that despite seeing limited ice time on the fourth line.
“I play 40-something games during the season, so it took me a while to get comfortable in the system,” Asham said. “I felt better and better with every game and was able to play well in the playoffs and contribute to the team.”
Asham’s performance reinforces the fact that he badly wants to win a championship. He came close with Philadelphia in 2010, where he helped his team to the Stanley Cup Final.
He then chose to sign with Pittsburgh the next season because he felt the team gave him his best chance at reaching his lifelong goal.
Asham still feels that way, which is why the 33-year-old forward signed a one-year deal to remain a Penguin.
“I came here with the goal of winning a championship,” Asham said. “We didn’t accomplish that goal last year with all the injuries and stuff we went through. I want to come back and accomplish that goal, but I believe we have a championship team in that locker room.
“In my time here I fell in love with the city and the fans. I wanted to stay in Pittsburgh and I’m glad we were able to get a deal done.”
The 11-season NHL veteran, who brings a feisty, physical presence to the ice, recorded 11 points (5G-6A), 46 penalty minutes and 107 hits through 44 games with the Penguins last season.
Basically, he wants to do whatever is required of him to help the Penguins to that ultimate goal – the Stanley Cup.
“I came to Pittsburgh (last year) because I believed they had the best chance to win the Stanley Cup,” Asham said. “I’m coming back because I still believe we have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup.”