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Penguins Add Feisty Asham to Lineup

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Takeaway:

> Penguins sign forward Arron Asham to a one-year contract
> Asham played with Philadelphia the past two seasons, and helped the Flyers win the Eastern Conference title last season
> Asham is a tough, physical forward that plays with an edge
> Asham chose to sign with the Penguins because of the team’s championship prospects

Arron Asham knows all about the heated rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. The gritty forward has been a part of the rivalry for the past two seasons, wearing black and orange, and suffered a first-round playoff loss to the Penguins in the 2008-09 postseason – as Pittsburgh went on to win its third Stanley Cup.

But the next time Asham suits up in the rivalry he’ll be wearing black and gold after signing a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Penguins (click here for media release).

“My time in Philly was great but it’s in the past now,” Asham said. “It is a great rivalry and fun to be a part of. I’m just switching sides. I’m still going out there and playing my hardest. I’m doing what it takes to win and playing good hockey. All friendships are put on hold until the game is over. It’s a great rivalry and I’m looking forward to it.”

Asham played 150 games with the Flyers the past two years, amassing 18 goals, 44 points and 281 penalty minutes. He’s chipped in nine points (5G-4A) in 29 postseason with Philadelphia.

During the Flyers’ 2010 Eastern Conference title run, Asham set career postseason highs with four goals and seven points in 23 games. He scored a key goal in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Montreal to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in an eventual series-clinching 4-2 victory.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound forward enjoyed the run, even if it did end with a bitter defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games in the Stanley Cup Final.

“It was great. It was definitely a great learning experience,” Asham said. “It’s definitely disappointing to get that far and not win. We battled back from Boston, down 3-0, and win that series. And to lose to Chicago the way we did. It’s disappointing but I gained lot of experience. I just want to work hard on a new chapter of my career.“

In the new chapter of his career, the Portage La Prairie, Manitoba native journeys to the Steel City where he’ll bring a feisty, energetic and edgy style of play to the Penguins lineup. He loves to play a physical brand of hockey and will drop the gloves when necessary.

“I know my role on the team and know what I can do,” Asham said. “It’s just go and play as hard as you can. It’s up to the coaches but I hope to crack the top three lines.

“I’m hoping to play a regular shift. That’s all I ask. I’m capable of playing a regular shift but it’s up to the coaches.”

Asham chose to sign with the Penguins, because he felt Pittsburgh gave him the best chance at realizing his life-long goal.

“Basically I want to get back to the Final and have chance to win the Cup,” he said. “Pittsburgh over the last three, four years has always been there. They won it two years ago. I thought my best chance was with the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m excited to come here and continue my quest for the Cup.”

In closing, he added:

“I’m happy to be a Penguin.”

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