Bobby Farnham of the Devils had an interesting game against the Blues on Tuesday. He scored a goal, his seventh of the season, but he also got into some trouble late when he was called for interference against Dmitrij Jaskin. He was given a ten minute misconduct penalty and has been suspended four games by the National Hockey League Department of Player Safety for it.
The suspension is without pay, which will cost Farnham $12,365.60 according to NHL.com. The money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The NHL Department of Player Safety called the hit “violent and predatory” and said there was “extreme lateness” on the hit. They mention that he was not finishing his check, and, thus, it was “not a hockey play.”
The hit was late and it was violent, as it was clear that Farnham was seeking retribution against the Blues for the hit he received behind their net. He seemed to be gunning for the first blue jersey he saw when he got up. Unfortunately, Jaskin had already gotten rid of the puck to a teammate and the one second window that players have to finish a check was over. Now the Devils will be down another man on their roster.
The suspension took into consideration that Farnham has had no prior disciplinary problems in his brief NHL career and that, while Jaskin left the ice briefly, he was not injured on the play.
However, there is one other note to come out of this play. According to Tom Gulitti of The Record and his Fire and Ice blog, when the Blues’ Ryan Reaves fought Jordin Tootoo in the aftermath of the Farnham hit, the cheap shots at the end had a purpose.
Gulitti reports that Reaves was settling a six year-old score with Tootoo. The play that led up to this came on October 14, 2010 (Reaves’ rookie season) when Tootoo was still with Nashville. Gulitti said that Reaves told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Tootoo took “a little cheap shot on me in my first year” and that “I told him it was going to come and it came. That was long awaited.”
Tootoo, as noted by Gulitti, never got both of his gloves off and Reaves quickly laid him out with a right hand to the side of his head. He then punched Tootoo twice more while he was on the ice before Stephen Gionta stepped in. MSG+ analyst Ken Danekyo commented on the act at the time, saying he did not like the extra liberties Reaves took with Tootoo.
Gulitti pointed out that there is an “unwritten code between fighters” and that when Tootoo fought Ryan Carter of the Wild on Sunday; he stopped himself from throwing a punch when Carter had fallen to his knees. Gulitti said that this was different though because “Tootoo was clearly shaken up.” He left the ice for the rest of the game, and according to Gulitti, was reevaluated on Wednesday, but the Devils have not provided an update.
So now the Devils will be down Farnham due to a suspension and possibly Tootoo due to the reckless actions of a player seeking revenge.
It was a messy situation on the ice and not handled well by either team, but will be just another obstacle the Devils will have to overcome this season.
- For more, you can follow Tom Gulitti at his Fire and Ice blog or on Twitter at the handle @TGfireandice.