In a move that will thrill as much as it bewilders the Flyer faithful — Philadelphia has opened up talks with unrestricted free agent forward Arron Asham.
Asham, 32, has been with the Flyers since the 2008-09 season, but was told that he would not be retained as a UFA by the organization due to money constraints. However, according to CSN’s John Boruk, the Flyers have had a second thoughts on the gritty veteran. San Jose, Phoenix and Los Angeles have also been rumored to have interest in Asham.
Simply showing interest in another grinding forward brings up questions about the Flyers’ roster moving forward. General manager Paul Holmgren made waves by signing enforcer Jody Shelley to a three-year deal worth $1.1 million per season. It was expected that Shelley would play the role of Asham, who is looking for a significant raise to the $640,000 he made last season.
Asham scored 10 goals and 14 assists to accompany his 92 hits in 72 games.
But what may really have the Flyers in the market for another physical forward is the team’s ongoing contract dispute with forward Dan Carcillo. The Flyers qualified the 25-year-old restricted free agent, but Carcillo’s representatives opted to take the Flyers to arbitration — something that has historically been interpreted by the organization as a belligerent action. Opening discussions with a player of similar ilk could be a ploy to have Carcillo sign at a cheaper price tag, or the team could be making legitimate back-up plans.
Either way, something has brought the log-jammed Flyers back to Asham’s doorstep.