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2014-15 Pensburgh Season in Review: Bobby Farnham

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The madman abides.

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Penguins employed Steve Downie last year. The NHL's reigning penalty minutes leader is an established menace at the NHL level.

If Pittsburgh chooses to part with him going into next season, his protege is on deck. Here's a look at Bobby Farnham's brief NHL work in the 2014-15 season with a few guesses at what might happen going into the new campaign.

Age: 26 (21 January 1989)

Contract Status: Pending RFA as of July 1, 2015 ($550,000 in 2014-15 at NHL Level on Two-Way Contract)

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2014-15 Stats

GP

TOI/GP

Goals

Assists

Points

11

7:11

0

0

0

Corsi For %

Corsi Rel %

Quality of Comp. (TOI%)

Zone Start %

PDO

44.8 %

- 6.2

.355

9.53 %

100.37


Penguins 2014-15 Forwards


Farnham


Most Frequent Forward Linemates


Linemates

Goals For %

Corsi For %

Total 5v5 time (76:58)

Grit

100%

see below

All Day, Every Day

Heart

All In

n/a

All Day, Every Day

Energy

Character Player

see above

All Day, Every Day

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Look, there's not much available on Bobby Farnham. That's what you get with a cup of coffee guy who saw his first career NHL action with 11 games played this season. The information you were promised above wasn't available. If it is, well, you know what it's going to tell you (that eleven games are a meaningless sample size and the dude needs a lot more ice time in Pittsburgh before we know what he's made of).

That said, when was the last time such intrigue followed a player whose only previous NHL experience resulted in zero points and fourth-line assignments?

Maybe never. That's because Farnham is a madman, and sample size be damned, there's no statistic for that.

But Wait, There's a Statistic For That

We know what Farnham is made of. Ivy Leaguer turned Street Fighter battles his way to the fringes of the NHL. Farnham, undersized though he is, remains the willingest of willing combatants. That's the path for a journeyman trying to crack the NHL.

However, it's not just his willingness to fight and ability to chirp that makes Farnham effective -- to that end, Columbus' Nick Foligno said of Farnham, "I was watching him and thinking, 'What the hell is up with this guy?' He just never stops. It was awesome." -- it is how he turns that energy into opposition mistakes that might give him his best shot at a regular NHL gig.

Via BehindtheNet.com, Farnham led all Penguins skaters in Penalties Drawn Per 60 Minutes, having drawn an average of 4.6 penalties over a 60-minute span.

Sidney Crosby, second among Penguins' skaters, drew just 1.2 Penalties/60. Only four others finished with rates north of 1.0 per game.

Again, sample size. Farnham played just 11 games this year at an average of 7:11 TOI per game. But that rate isn't out of line with his career numbers, not by a longshot. Couple it with the one-minor-per-game rate at which he himself went to the box, and the chaos is in the numbers.

The Not-Bad

Again, energy. It's hard enough to get anything worthwhile out of a fourth line, let alone on a roster that has been as badly mismanaged and top-heavy as the Penguins' roster has become over the last five years. Farnham, if not a real scoring threat, can singlehandedly change the tenor of a game.

Putting the team on the power play two or three times a game isn't a bad feather in the cap, either.

The Bad

Farnham can skate and fight and everything else, but energy and chaos might be his NHL ceiling. Playing mostly fourth-line minutes, Farnham was a minus-7.70 Corsi. You know he got outscored, having collected no goals and no points in 11 games, but that he and his linemates got outchanced so regularly is concerning.

(A caveat: Farnham's cup of coffee came at roughly the same time the Penguins were dressing a literal half-AHL roster because injuries had so decimated the team. His linemates, the team as a whole, were not a competitive product. If he makes the team this year, expect his linemates, scoring chances and puck possession to be a little more positive than what he showed this year.)

GIF of the Year

Preseason Expectations

Oh like you even knew he was on the AHL roster.

Verdict

If we didn't have expectations for Farnham before last year, we do now. The Penguins were quicksand in an hourglass against the Rangers team that bounced them in the first round of the postseason, and this is an aging roster that has become slow on the wings faster than we ever saw coming.

Is he a scoring threat on the fourth line? Come on. But the Penguins current cap situation doesn't allow them to fill all gaps.

Farnham is in the organization. He'll come cheap on a new deal, address the energy problems that plagued the team down the stretch and gin up his fair share of power play opportunities too.

If nothing else, the man is a story in the making. Pittsburgh is due for a good one.

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Feel free to vote in the poll below to grade Farnham's season on a scale from 1 to 10. Vote based on your expectations for him coming into the season -- i.e. 1 being "he was incredibly disappointing and I want him out now", 10 being "he was outstanding even beyond my craziest expectations."