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.’’