Yesterday we told you about Matt Duchene’s final game with Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League and how he was headed to Switzerland. Today, he announced who he’ll be playing for.
Duchene, via Twitter, said he signed with Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss National League. In 19 games with Frolunda, he scored just four goals and added 10 assists. He also had a bit of a struggle dealing with both his teammates and the officials in Sweden.
In Switzerland, he’ll be joining Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider who recently joined Ambri-Piotta. Former Penguins forward Richard Park is also playing there but on a full-time basis.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, veteran forward Richard Park has signed a two-year deal with HC Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss League.
Park, 36, scored 7G-7A-14PTS in 54 games with the Penguins last season, averaging just over 10 minutes per game in a largely checking/penalty killing role. He also appeared in two of Pittsburgh’s six playoff games against Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero had shown some interest in bringing Park back for 2012-13, but Shero also said that about Steve Sullivan (now in Phoenix) and Arron Asham (now with the Rangers.)
“He was a good penalty-killer,” the Post-Gazette said of Park. “And there was no way the Penguins would have offered him a two-year deal.”
Park won’t be the only ex-NHLer plying his trade with Ambri-Piotta next year. Another former Penguin, Jason Williams, is on the team, as is former Minnesota defenseman Maxim Noreau and ex-Sharks goalie Nolan Schaefer.
Oh yeah — Ambri-Piotta’s coach is former Sharks, Penguins and Devils bench boss Kevin Constantine, in case you were wondering whatever happened to him.
Penguins forward Arron Asham has made it known he wants to stay in Pittsburgh next season — and he knows when he’ll find out if it’s going to happen.
“I’m hoping that I hear something from the Penguins by the NHL Draft,” Asham told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s when I should know if I’m back or if I’m looking for another place to play.”
The draft takes place on June 22-23 — at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center, ironically enough — and it appears Asham is in a similar boat to that of fellow UFAs Steve Sullivan and Richard Park, in that Pens GM Ray Shero said he’s yet to make final decisions on which guys he’ll retain.
“I definitely would like to stay here,” Asham explained. “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.”
The elephant in the room with Asham’s negotiations is the four-game suspension he received during Pittsburgh’s opening-round playoff loss to Philadelphia, for cross-checking Brayden Schenn. It was the second-longest suspension of the postseason (a mere 21 games less than Raffi Torres’) and Asham still has one game left to serve.
“It’s a tough question,” Asham said when asked if the suspension would affect negotiations negatively. “I don’t know if that suspension is going to be something that hurts me or not. It’s something that happened.
“I was trying to stick up for a teammate. I was trying to do a team-oriented thing.’’