By Nick Hart
Three years ago, the chants rained down from Section 108 just about every night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
“BOBBY! BOBBY! BOBBY!”
As barreled around the ice throwing his body at opponents with reckless abandon, Bobby Farnham knew how to whip the hometown crowd into a frenzy.
However, this weekend the opponent in Farnham’s crosshairs is the one he used to battle for every night. For the first time in his career, Farnham is facing off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
While Farnham will likely show no mercy to his old friends once the puck is dropped on Saturday night in St. John’s, he remembers his time with his old squad very fondly.
“[Wilkes-Barre] was my home, really, for three years,” Farnham said. “I loved it there. The fans, the organization, everything. That was my starting ground, all I knew coming into pro hockey.”
Today, Farnham suits up for the St. John’s IceCaps, the AHL affiliate of the Montréal Canadiens. This is the first time in his pro career that he started a season outside of the Penguins organization, but not the first time he’s suited up for someone other than the black and gold.
When Pittsburgh tried to reassign Farnham to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in late October of last year, he was claimed on waivers by the New Jersey Devils and spent the rest of the 2015-16 season there.
“When I got picked up on waivers, when I left, I said there would always be a little part of me that was home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
Now he calls Newfoundland home, and the fans chanting his name these days would prefer he keep any warm, fuzzy feelings for his old mates far away from the rink during this weekend’s back-to-back series. Farnham had to stop by the visitors’ locker room after the IceCaps practice on Friday for a chance to catch up with his former teammates, but the Penguins are well aware that the same man who was shaking their hands then will be up to his old tricks once the games start.
“I expect Bobby to be Bobby and be flying around all over the place,” said Tom Kostopoulos. “He’s one of those guys you love to have on your team, but you hate to play against. It was good to see him today, but I’m sure we’re going to hate playing against him this weekend.”
The Penguins face off with the IceCaps on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm Eastern Time.
The Pens return home on Friday, December 9 when they play the Hershey Bears at 7:00pm. It’s an Eyewitness News Fan Friday, with $14 lower bowl tickets, select draft beers for just $2 from 6-7:30pm, and a post-game autograph session with two Penguins players.