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.
During the third period of the Flyers’ 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, a typical line scrum erupted. In the middle of it stood Flyers’ forward Arron Asham and a turtled Matt Cooke. As the melee appeared to be breaking up, Asham began furiously throwing punches to the back of Cooke’s head, warranting penalties on both sides.
The cause of Asham’s outburst: He says Cooke bit him.
Amid offensive inconsistency the past two games, in which the Flyers have only scored a total of four goals, coach John Stevens has mixed up the lines once again in an attempt to capture some depth production.
“It’s more because of lack of production,” said Stevens. “We had a three lines before that could all score and a fourth that could chip in and we liked the feel of it better.”
Bad news for the Penguins on Thursday — Arron Asham has something to prove.
The rough-and-tough Asham, who scored eight goals, 12 assists and 155 penalty minutes in 78 games last season, will make his 2009-10 season debut on Thursday and is expected to be on the third line aside Claude Giroux and Darroll Powe.
“I’m hoping to stay in the lineup for the rest of the year,” said a very serious Asham, who was scratched for the team’s first three games. “I’ll get my chance, I’ll work hard and keep my spot. I’m definitely not going to give it up easily.”
Philadelphia Inquirer writer Sam Carchidi wrote a piece designing the projected Flyers’ line combinations for the 2009-10 season. He put Ian Laperriere on the second line wing and Mike Richards centering the third line with Arron Asham and Daniel Carcillo. Being moved by the article, I decided to take it upon myself to put together the groupings to start the season.