Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Aaron Asham: From the Island to New Jersey

As I saw at the Devils message board at Hockey's Future, the New Jersey Devils' official website is announcing the signing of Aaron Asham. Patricia has been on top of this signing at 2 Man Advantage and has plenty of thoughts about the signing. I have no idea how much the deal is worth, but I can't imagine it cutting into the salary cap too much.

While he's not a big winger, he's definitely feisty and gritty. I generally agree with Patricia at 2MA that this is a signing for the fourth line, given what Asham does on the ice - being feisty and gritty. Looking at his career stats at NHL.com, he may provide some offense from the fourth line (something that didn't really exist all that well last season). Erik Rasmussen has not been signed, and with the signing of this fourth line left winger, Rasmussen's tenure with the Devils it's not looking good at this point. I'd like to point out that there's plenty of competition, however, between Jari Vihukola, Asham, Mike Rupp, Cam Janssen, Rod Pelley, and David Clarkson for those fourth line spots (though Clarkson may fight for a higher spot). Training camp is going to be interesting.


John, I really like this signing actually. It gives the Devils even more mobility and depth.

What puzzles me though is the use of Viuhkola -- why was he signed?

I also start to wonder about why Janssen was signed for so long and why Rupp was retained. While I see Rupp still playing a decent role on the Devils, I feel that Janssen will be nothing more than an extra forward at this point. He's our big bruiser, but we do have other guys who can drop the gloves in Asham and Clarkson (and even Rupp to an extent), and Asham himself even has the upside of being able to play solid two-way hockey and actually being able to put the puck in the net.

Here's what is nagging me about this deal -- Why did the Islanders opt to resign Simon but let Asham walk? Every Islander game I caught on tv last year I heard Howie Rose rave about Asham and his character, etc. So why would they take back Simon -- older and more expensive -- and let Asham go to a division rival? And I'm also bothered by the fact that Clarkson, Tallackson, Bergfors and Ryznar will all be in camp looking for a spot, and now they're hardly even in the picture.
John, don't fret too much about Tallackson, Bergfors, and Ryznar.

Tallackson unfortunately has not shown any growth whatsoever and I really cannot see him making a name for himself in the NHL. Believe me, it hurts to say that because I was a big Tallackson fan (I also double as a huge Golden Gopher fan), but he has not developed AT ALL in all the shots he's had with the Devils. I'd venture that they've given up on him.

Ryznar, I'm not sure about. I feel as though he too has dropped in the depth chart, though he could be an injury replacement as the season progresses.

Bergfors is not ready for the NHL. His growth has been very slow at best, and last I heard, Niklas was loaned to a Swedish team for the time being -- I don't think he'll even see much time in Lowell this year either. I'm not saying to give up on Bergfors at all, because I do think he still has the potential to be a solid player, but it's going to take a lot of time and patience with him.

Bergfors will be in Lowell, Lamoriello announced that during his pre-Sutter press conference.

Viuhkola is a pure centerman, who is supposedly a good defender and playmaker. You can check out hockeysfuture Finnish correspondant for that.

I dont get the Rupp signing, he stinks plain and simple. Clarkson will have to fight his way on and Patricia is correct on Tallackson, he's large skill has NEVER translated in output--look at his mediocre college stats.

Ryznar has never shown anything. And, does anyone think--while we may wish otherwise--that Janssen is an 8 minute a night, 40 game a year part timer?
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