A few eyebrows were raised when the Penguins signed Arron Asham this offseason. Afterall, as a member of the rival Flyers, he accused Matt Cooke of biting him last season and even called the Penguins' left winger "gutless."
Cooke and Asham smoothed things over after Asham signed with a phone call. Today, Asham talked about that unique dynamic, referred to Cooke and the rest of the Penguins as "family" and his ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup.
On his offseason:
"It was very short. With the run we had last year (going to the Cup final) there wasn’t much time to relax. Definitely short, but I wouldn’t mind all my summers being like that."
"That’s just the way the game is. You leave everything on the ice. You battle hard. If it’s a fight or if its getting bit by (Cooke). It’s just a part of the game. Once the horn blows, it’s all over. Coming here, everyone’s my family here right now. We have a mission to win the Stanley Cup."
Is Cooke part of that "family":
"Yes he is. It was in the heat of battle. I probably would’ve done the same thing. It’s water under the bridge."
On receiving a phone call from Cooke:
"He just welcomed me to the team. He’s happy I’m on his team and he doesn’t have to play against me."
On signing with the Penguins:
"Basically, I just want to win a Stanley Cup. I thought my best chances were with Pittsburgh. They got one of the top players in the world right now and one of the top goaltenders. They made some really good signings this summer and I thought my best chance was here."
On his role:
"I’m not sure what it is. Whatever coach Dan (Byslma) has planned, I’m not sure. Whatever he wants me doing, it’s not going to change my game. I’m just going out there and battle, chip in a some goals here and there and stick up for my teammates."
On facing his former team, the Flyers, in the season opener Oct. 7:
"This is my (fourth) team in this division so I’ve been playing against a lot of ex-teammates."
On his aggressive forechecking game:
"I definitely fit the style here. They like to get on the forecheck and use the body. That fits my game to a T."
(Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)