When the New York Rangers signed Arron Asham to a two-year $2-million deal Rangers fans were instantly furious. Why does the team need another grinding, fighting player like Asham? Many of the thoughts were based off of fan's hatred for Asham mainly since he played for all four other Atlantic Division teams before he came to New York.
But Asham is slowing showing that he belongs. Post Mike Rupp the Rangers have lost some of their toughness. Many will argue it's a part of the game (the fighting aspect) the Rangers don't need, but it's a role coveted by Sather and John Tortorella, so it becomes valuable in its own right.
Asham brings that to the table. But he also brings a solid presence on the ice. No, he's not the fastest guy in the world and no one will drop their jaws over his skating, but Asham has been a solid addition to the Rangers through this point in the season. Thus far, Asham is averaging nearly seven minutes a game. And while that number doesn't jump out at you there have been games where he's played more than 13 minutes a game.
Regardless, when looking at Asham you have to look past the numbers and into his role. He's a fourth-line player on a Tortorella-run team that generally does't utilize the fourth line as much as most. Asham has served his purpose.
He plays with grit, he has a level of toughness and he does the things "most players wouldn't" as Tortorella said after the win over the Lightning.
Asham brings that to the table. And he's been a solid addition to this team. Enough of the Asham can't skate stuff, he's been fine.