Then and Now: Arron Asham

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Arron Asham has played for six NHL teams over his career and he may be with a seventh when the start of the 2013-2014 season starts. After being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1996 and playing for the squad until 2002, Asham joined the New York Islanders for four seasons. The enforcer then endured a season with the New Jersey Devils before he became a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2008.

Asham had a 10-point campaign with the Devils in 2007-2008 and posted 84 PIMs before he had 20 points and 155 PIMs in 78 contests with the Flyers in 2008-2009.

Part of the reason Asham compiled so many PIMs was due to the fact he had 17 fighting majors, his most in any single season during his NHL career. His most notable fight from the 2008-2009 campaign was either his toe-to-toe bout with Patrick Kaleta or his knockout of Tim Jackman.

Thanks to hockeyfightsdotcom

Thanks to hockeyfightsdotcom

The Orange and Black didn’t enjoy the 2009 NHL postseason for long, as they were eliminated by their division rival, and eventual Stanley Cup Winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins. During the six-game series, where Max Talbot had the series-altering fight, Asham had the secondary assist on Jared Ross’ lone playoff goal in the NHL during Game 3 and the game-winning goal in Game 5 off a great drop pass from Daniel Carcillo.

The 2009-2010 campaign was Asham’s most productive in terms of points, as he had 20 points in 78 regular season games and 7 points in 23 postseason games with Philly on their run to the Stanley Cup Finals. In addition to his point totals, Asham dropped the gloves 15 times during the regular season and compiled 126 PIMs.

Asham posted a three-game point streak during the 2009-2010 regular season, as he had five points in a three-game span from January 3rd to January 7th. After he had a goal and an assist in Philly’s 7-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators on January 3rd, Asham had a helper in the Flyers’ 6-2 beating of the Toronto Maple Leafs three days later before producing a pair of assists in Philadelphia’s 7-4 win over the Pens on January 7th.

The Flyers’ pugilist had a productive 2010 postseason, as he potted four goals and produced three helpers to finish with seven points. To date, Asham has a total of 19 points in the NHL playoffs over his career.

His first point in the 2010 postseason came in Game 2 of the team’s ECQF series against the Devils, where he tied the game at 1 before the Orange and Black ultimately lost 5-3. Asham’s next tally was the opening goal in Game 4 of Philly’s ECSF against the Boston Bruins. Philly ended up losing the game 4-1, but everybody knows how the series ended.

Asham wouldn’t tickle the twine again until Game 5 of the ECF, when he beat Jaroslav Halak early in the second period to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. The enforcer then had a goal and an assist in the team’s very next game, which was a 6-5 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals.

After two seasons with the Orange and Black, Asham decided to continue on his tour of the Atlantic Division and joined the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2010-2011 campaign.

Thanks to a shoulder injury and a concussion, Asham missed a good chunk of his first year with the Pens, as he had 11 points and 46 PIMs in 44 tilts during the regular season.

Although the Penguins were only in the 2011 NHL playoffs for seven games, Asham managed to record three goals and a helper before the Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated Pittsburgh. Asham had goals in Game 1, Game 3, and Game 4.

Asham probably wasn’t the most lovable player heading into the 2011-2012 season, but two incidents during the regular season and postseason probably didn’t help his case.

On top of 16 points and 76 PIMs in 64 regular season games with the Pens, Asham also had a rather notable and distasteful celebration after winning a fight. In a game against the Washington Capitals on October 13th, 2011, Asham knocked out Jay Beagle. After the Caps’ forward landed face first into the ice and started bleeding profusely, Asham gestured his arms in a way to say the opponent was knocked out and then propped his hands near his head to suggest Beagle was going to sleep.

Thanks to hockeyfightsdotcom

Asham followed up the regular season act with another disgraceful incident in the postseason against the Flyers. While the Orange and Black were taking it to the Penguins in both Game 3 and the series overall, and things were getting chippy in the Flyers’ first home game of the series, Brayden Schenn plastered Paul Martin near the boards in the Pens’ defensive zone with a clean check. Asham was on the ice for the hit and responded with a cross check to Schenn’s throat. The former Flyer received a four-game suspension for the action and missed the rest of the series against Philly.

Thanks to hockey161616

The fighter finished the Atlantic Division sweep this season by joining the New York Rangers. Thanks to the final game in his suspension, a strained groin, and back issues, Asham took part in just 27 regular season games. The forward posted two goals and 50 PIMs.

Asham struggled all season in terms on fighting and one of his worst bouts came against Jay Rosehill. The Flyers’ new bully got the best of Asham in Philly’s 4-2 win over the Blueshirts on April 16.

The former Flyer went on to pot two goals for the Rangers in the 2013 postseason before they were knocked out by the Boston Bruins in the ECSF. Asham had a goal in New York’s 4-3 Game 3 win over the Washington Capitals in the ECQF and the game-winner in Game 7 of the same series, where the Rangers posted a 5-0 victory.

Along with Darroll Powe, Asham was waived by the Rangers earlier in the month, as the club is looking for cap space to resign Derek Stepan.