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Insider Only Breaking down why the Penguins strongly feel Tanner Glass will be an ugrade over Arron Asham

Rugged role players Tanner Glass and Arron Asham had identical offensive numbers last season, 5 goals and 11 assists and received identical deals in free agency, Glass signing a 2 year, $2.2 million contract with the Penguins and Arron Asham heading to Broadway, signing a 2 year, $2.2 million contract with the New York Rangers.
Who signed the better player and fit for their system?
Arron Asham was a player who was very well liked in Penguins locker room from the players to management. Asham is regarded as an all around great guy, would stick up for his teammates at the drop of the hat and provided a tough presence on the 4th line who could chip in offensively at times.
When the Penguins signed Asham in August 2010, the team believed he could emerge into a 12-15 goal scorer in their system and had visions of a third line with Matt Cooke and Arron Asham playing together.
The two opened camp playing together in September 2010 with Mark Letestu down the middle, but those plans of Asham playing a third line role never developed in two seasons with the team for a number of reasons, most notably, he didn’t skate well enough and wasn’t defensively responsible enough.
Glass is a bit less gifted offensively than Asham, who flashed his offensive ability in the 2011 playoffs vs Tampa Bay, but the Penguins strongly feel Glass will impact a game on a more regular basis than Asham did and brings added dimensions that Asham didn’t provide; Here’s Why.
Breaking down why the Penguins strongly feel Glass will be an upgrade over Asham:

1. Glass is an excellent skater who is a more aggressive forechecker than Asham and had 246 hits in 78 games, compared to Asham who had 64 hits in 95 games. He’s going to make the Penguins tougher to play against.
*2. Throw out the minus-12 rating Glass had in 2011-2012. Glass is a player the Penguins view as being defensive responsible which has them envisioning him likely opening the season on the third line and believe it or not, head coach Dan Bylsma see’s Glass as an option to skate with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal when the team is holding a lead.
*3. Arron Asham did not kill penalties; Glass averaged 1:47 on the penalty kill per game and in addition to Brandon Sutter, will give the Penguins coaching two new options to use on the penalty kill, a unit that was exposed last year in the playoffs.
4. Glass, 29, is five years younger than Asham who is 34 and turns 35 in April. The Penguins had a need to get younger and faster at Asham’s spot and they did.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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