Wild thing. You make me shake my head. You make things complicated. Wild thing. Wild thing, I want to like you. But I don't know right now. So your retalitory hit was violent. And you're out for four games.
OK, I'm not doing The Toggs any justice so let's just get right into it. Earlier today, it was reported - in this post by Tom Guilitti at Fire & Ice for example - that Bobby Farnham of the New Jersey Devils would have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety. The incident was a violent hit on Dmitrij Jaskin of the St. Louis Blues in the third period of last night's 2-5 loss. Farnham was legally hit by Kevin Shattenkirk behind the net. Farnham decided this was unacceptable. So he went out of his way, got his hands up, and leveled a defenseless and puck-less Jaskin with his forearms in the corner. A melee ensued. After it all settled down, Farnham was off with a five minute major for interference and a ten minute misconduct.
This evening, the hearing was held with DoPS and the decision came down hard: a four game suspension. The NHL website has the ruling here with the key details. It also contains the following video explaining the decision. It contains the whole play in slow motion with the usual detailed breakdown of what happened.
I don't know about you, but I'm convinced by the video that Farnham deserves a suspension beyond just the fifteen minutes accrued from the incident. It's a high hit, it's a dangerous hit, and it's a rather stupid decision by Farnham. It deserves to be punished. I am bit surprised it's four games, though. Seeing that he was given the major penalty and a misconduct in the game and this is his first suspension, I figured one or two games would be tacked on. If this is part of a legitimate effort by DoPS to be more strict in their rulings, then great. I can get behind that. But is it consistent with their past? I'm not sure. And I don't know where to look up past suspensions to confirm that . That said, the difference between one game, two games, and four games for Farnham, is not as large at it may seem given that he plays so little in each game.
Regardless of how I feel about it, the fact remains the same. Farnham will be out until next Saturday's road game in Winnipeg on January 23. As the Devils have a spare forward, I wouldn't anticipate any call ups in response to the suspension. As Farnham has four goals in his last eight games, it's not a stretch to say that a part of his game will be missed. The Devils don't score a lot and so his goals have been welcomed. Unfortunately, the other part of what Farnham brings to the table, his wild, always-go-hard-never-ask-questions-later style, led to the nasty retaliatory hit that has forced him to sit for four games.