March 5, 2012; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Phoenix Coyotes defender David Rundblad (2) defends a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Arron Asham (45) during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
Interesting Note: After being diagnosed with a concussion following January 15th game in Tampa, Asham missed a month of game time. Before the concussion he got in seven fights in 41 games. After the concussion, Asham only dropped the gloves once (March 3rd vs. Cody McLeod) in his last 23 games.
The Good: Had a record of 7-1 in his fights this season, as voted on by Hockey Fights, including a total knockout (and apologized celebration) of Jay Beagle back in October. Always one to defend a teammate, Asham is a willing scrapper and definitely a physical force to be reckoned with.
The Bad: Asham's Goals per game ratio dropped from this year to last year. His shots/game and hits/game were also significantly down from last season. Asham had low numbers in the quality of competition, Corsi and most all advanced stats. Also was on the ice for 24 goals for and 29 goals against. So basically, Asham played on a 4th line, against other 4th lines and saw more shots (and goals) go in his own net then the other net while he was out there.
Moment to Remember: Against the Montreal Canadiens on October 20, 2011, Asham batted a floating puck out of the air in a great show of hand-eye coordination for his first goal of the season. He was also on the ice and in front of the net for Joe Vitale's eventual game winning goal in the 3-1 effort.
Moment to Forget: With the Penguins season spiraling out of control in Game 3 of the playoffs, Asham leveled a high cross-check on Brayden Schenn and then punched a fallen Schenn in the back of his head. Asham was responding to Schenn's high body-check on Paul Martin, but he did it in the wrong way. The score was "only" 3-1 Philly at the time, and this happened just moments after Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby got in fights. But Asham's actions showed just how unraveled the team had become. He'd be given a four game suspension for the attack on Schenn, that ended Asham's season on the spot.
Discussion: Asham just turned 34 and has a lot of miles on him, where does that leave him for next season? Would you like to see the Pens bring him back to play the 4th line wing/enforcer role or has he about worn out his welcome with a fairly disappointing season? He is a guy that will fight for his teammates, but he's also capable of some Islander-level thuggery. Do we really need that on this team next year?