The Habs added some toughness to the organization on Friday morning as they announced that they’ve inked enforcer Bobby Farnham to a one year, two-way deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 27 year old Farnham played in 53 NHL games last year, mostly with New Jersey after the Devils claimed him on waivers early in the season. He picked up eight goals and a pair of assists in those games with a -2 rating and 97 PIMS while averaging 9:19 of ice time per night. In his career, he has ten points in 64 total NHL contests.
The 5’10 winger has spent most of his professional career at the minor league level. He actually got his start in Montreal’s system as an invite to Hamilton’s training camp back in 2012 but he was cut and moved on to Pittsburgh’s farm team instead.
In his past three AHL seasons (2012-13 through 2014-15), Farnham played in 191 games, picking up 39 points (17-22-39) and a whopping 666 penalty minutes. He ranked in the top five in penalty minutes in two of those years.
At first glance, it would appear that the Habs signed Farnham with the plan to play him with St. John’s as there is already quite the logjam on the fourth line with the Canadiens. Aside from Connor Crisp who had concussion issues last year, there weren’t any pure tough guys with the IceCaps and the team undoubtedly doesn’t want Michael McCarron to be the enforcer.
Interestingly enough, Farnham was added at a time where the number of fights in the AHL will likely drop after the league instituted fighting limits (an automatic suspension after the tenth and any subsequent fight). Suffice it to say, Farnham will have to pick and choose his battles compared to his last stint in the minors.
Farnham is now the 50th player under contract to the Canadiens although three of those are eligible to slide (Sergachev, Juulsen, and McNiven) if they don’t play in ten or more NHL games next season.