Aaron Asham, Jay Beagle

UFA spotlight — Arron Asham


All week leading up to July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.

Arron Asham (F)

Age: 34

2011-12 cap hit: $775,000

The skinny:

According to Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review, it’s “looking more and more unlikely” that Asham will re-sign in Pittsburgh.

Not that Asham wants to leave. The tough 34-year-old that’s spent time with the Canadiens, Islanders, Devils, Flyers and Penguins is happy where he is.

“I definitely would like to stay here,” he said a couple of weeks ago. “I’m extremely happy here. My family loves it here. So do I. It’s a solid team, and I want to be a part of it. I want to win a Stanley Cup, and I think we’ve got the horses here to do it.”

Asham is a fourth-liner that doesn’t mind dropping the gloves (or Jay Beagle, for that matter), but not quite a heavyweight like Brian McGrattan or Cam Janssen. However, he can play more minutes than your average enforcer and has eclipsed the 20-point plateau six times in his career.

For a team looking for so-called “toughness that can play,” Asham could be a nice fit.

More UFA spotlights

Ryan Suter

Zach Parise

Jason Garrison

Jiri Hudler

Justin Schultz

Shane Doan

Alexander Semin

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…