The Pittsburgh Penguins signed their restricted free agent Bobby Farnham today. From the team:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Bobby Farnham to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal is a two-way contract that carries an average annual value of $575,000 at the NHL level.
Farnham, 26, made his NHL debut on Dec. 11 at Columbus and appeared in 11 games total for Pittsburgh in 2014-15. Farnham has played more than 62 games for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins in each of the last three seasons, including a 2014-15 campaign in which he tied career highs in goals (7), assists (7) and points (14).
The 5-foot-10, 187-pound native of North Andover, Massachusetts has played in 197 AHL games with WBS, Providence and Worcester since 2012, posting 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points and 672 penalty minutes. Farnham has recorded 48 penalty minutes in 26 games of AHL postseason experience.
We've said our piece about Farnham already here. If the Penguins can't find 13 better NHL forwards, their bottom six depth will be compromised greatly.
If Farnham is one of the top 12-13 forwards that Pittsburgh has next season, it's bound to be another long year of ineffective 4th line play for the team.
(Farnham, by the way, has 0 points and 14 penalty minutes in 7 AHL playoff games so far).
Instead of Farnham the Penguins should look to better young players to fill their 4th line. Scott Wilson, Oskar Sundqvist. Even Bryan Rust. Farnham works hard but he shouldn't be in the NHL next season, even if he can make fans and sportswriters alike fall in love with his chirping, jawing, energy and personality. He fights! He skates hard! He's fun to watch and root for! He draws penalties! (Just nevermind that he takes a lot too!) That's all great, but one thing he won't do is make the team actually, you know, better.
The Penguins did a good thing by getting rid of Sill and announcing they won't bring back Adams either. But if they replace them with other players who aren't going to contribute anything tangible, the team won't improve.
All that holds, about the only good thing is that the Penguins aren't paying Farnham decent money like the Rangers are Tanner Glass . The best case is probably the role Farnham had last year: a couple of mid-season cameos when the team is banged up and need a shot of energy. But hopefully not many NHL games for the sake of the team's goal to actually play 12 NHL level forwards.