The Bobby Farnham era has come to an end in Pittsburgh.
The Devils have claimed the rambunctious left winger off waivers from the Penguins. Farnham will be reunited with Devils coach John Hynes in New Jersey. Hynes previously coached Farnham with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Farnham, 26, appeared in three games this season and recorded no points as well as five minutes. Farnham made his NHL debut last season by appearing in 11 games and recorded no points along with 24 penalty minutes.
A strong skater with limited puckhandling abilities, Farnham was given a chance by the Penguins primarily for his penchant for producing mayhem by forchecking or fighting rather than producing offense.
Farnham, undrafted out of Brown University, originally joined the Penguins organization when he signed an ECHL contract with the Wheeling Nailers in 2012. After nine games, four points and 46 penalty minutes with the Nailers in 2012-13, he signed an an AHL deal with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In only 65 AHL games that season, Farnham scored 11 points and racked up 274 penalty minutes.
Farnham spent the entire 2013-14 season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He played in 64 games with 14 points and 166 penalty minutes. During the 2014 offseason, Farnham earned his first NHL contract when he was signed to a one-year, two-way deal last season, in addition to making his NHL debut, Farnham played in 62 AHL contests, recorded 14 points and racked up 226 penalty minutes.
This past offseason, the Penguins re-signed him to another one-year, two-way deal.
-EN Says: Stop and think about Farnham's ascent to the NHL for a moment. He turned an ECHL contract into NHL work. That's really difficult to do for positional players (as opposed to goaltenders). If you're a positional player in the ECHL, there's probably a reason for that.
Even if he isn't a particularly skilled palyer, the fact that Farnham even reached the NHL is a triumph in a lot of ways.
As far as him moving to the Devils, it really won't impact the Penguins that much. He was a healthy scratch for five of the Penguins' first eight games even despite the fact that the Penguins' bottom two lines have been impacted by injuries as of late. And with Beau Bennett returning to the lineup soon and Eric Fehr on the verge of making his Penguins debut, the likelihood of Farnham seeing any playing time in the near future was even less likely.
While he is hardly imposing at 5-foot-10, 188 pounds, Farnham was one of the few players on the NHL roster who didn't mind fighting, particularly when a teammate was wronged. He fought Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki Oct. 15 after Borowiecki dropped right winger Bryan Rust with a neutral zone hit:
General manager Jim Rutherford has said the team prefers to have more skill in the lineup and they would try to fill any needs for toughness on an ad hoc basis. Even beyond the NHL roster, there aren't many sources of that in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Farnham will get a much better chance at the NHL level with the Devils. In the midst of a rebuilding project, the Devils don't have nearly the depth up front at the forward position as the Penguins do. Additionally, Farnham was a favorite of Hynes' during their time in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
(Photos: Daniel Kubus/Getty Images and Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)