Bobby Farnham

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NHL hands Radko Gudas a six-game suspension

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The NHL handed Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas a six-game suspension for his hit on Austin Czarnik of the Boston Bruins.

As a repeat offender, Gudas will lose $245,121.95 thanks to this six-game suspension.

That hit came soon after he avoided a suspension for another questionable preseason hit. Here’s the league’s video explanation for the decision:

So far, reactions range from the punishment being a “good start” to something that won’t register enough with the frequent hitter. Most believe that his run-ins with the league’s disciplinarians are far from over, however.

His history of violence

If the Department of Player Safety had a speed dial list of regulars, Gudas would have a prominent spot on it. He’s actually dodged quite a few disciplinary bullets in a short period of time.

Back during his astounding month of February, Gudas said “I can’t be doing this on the ice” … and then kept doing the same things, over and over again.

The Flyers actions haven’t always matched their words considering the contract extension they handed him in June.

Maybe a more severe punishment will get through to the rugged defenseman?

Devils sign Gibbons to PTO as Shero’s Pittsburgh-to-New Jersey train rides again

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More like the New Jersey Penguins, right?

C’mon, it’s not the worst lede you’ve read on this site.

On Friday, the Devils announced that diminutive winger Brian Gibbons — who the Penguins signed as a undrafted free agent in 2011 — would be attending training camp on a professional tryout, continuing GM Ray Shero’s theme of bringing in guys from his time with Pittsburgh.

Shero signed Gibbons out of Boston College, and Gibbons eventually worked his way up to the NHL, peaking with 17 points in 41 games during the ’13-14 campaign (and another three in eight playoff games).

Since leaving the Pens organization, Gibbons has spent time with both the Blue Jackets and Rangers organizations, though mostly with their American League affiliates.

As mentioned above, Shero loves him some Penguins.

His coach in New Jersey, John Hynes, came from the Pittsburgh organization. So too did his assistant GM, Tom Fitzgerald.

And players? Oh yeah, Shero loves his old Pittsburgh players. Since taking the New Jersey GM gig in May of 2015, Shero has brought Lee Stempniak, Bobby Farnham, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, David Warsofsky, Beau Bennett and Ben Lovejoy into the fold.

Related: New Jersey also gave Anders Lindback, who has shockingly never played for Pittsburgh, a PTO

Habs add brawn by handing Bobby Farnham a two-way deal

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Are the Montreal Canadiens a better team after this off-season?

That’s up to debate, but there’s no denying the notion that they’re trying to become more physically imposing.

Friday presented the latest example of that emphasis, as the Habs handed tough guy Bobby Farnham a one-year, two-way contract.

This follows the trend of exchanging star defenseman P.K. Subban for hard-hitting star* blueliner Shea Weber and moving Lars Eller for Andrew Shaw.

Elliotte Friedman mentioned in a recent “30 Thoughts” roundup that a Canadiens player said management views players as “soft, physically and mentally.”

Farnham inspires criticisms in his play, but anyone calling him soft might lose some teeth.

Again, none of this guarantees that the Canadiens will be better next season. A lot of that likely rides on Carey Price‘s health as much as anything else.

For better or worse, the way things are looking, they’ll force opponents to use a few more ice packs per night.

* – Though some might debate calling Weber a “star” at this point. These situations … get messy, don’t they?

Two more Devils — Blandisi, Smith-Pelly — fined for diving

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The Devils have an embellishment problem.

On Thursday, two more New Jersey skaters — Joseph Blandisi and Devante Smith-Pelly — were fined for diving, making them the third and fourth members of the team this season to be punished for the infraction.

(Before you all start freaking out, yes, it is true that Smith-Pelly’s fine came as a result of his actions as a Canadien. Accordingly, the fine will be included in Montreal’s accumulation totals.)

From the league:

Blandisi was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 847 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 16. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 13:14 of the second period during NHL Game No. 893 against the New York Rangers on Feb. 23. Blandisi drew a minor penalty for interference to Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath and was assessed a minor penalty for embellishment on the play.

Smith-Pelly was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 512 at Minnesota on Dec. 22. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 6:16 of the second period during NHL Game No. 902 at Washington on Feb. 24. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom received a minor penalty for slashing on the play.

The Devils are going to be a really interesting team to watch moving forward, because bench boss John Hynes is now in danger of becoming the first coach to receive a fine for diving/embellishment since the citation program was brought into effect at the start of last season.

After the fourth player warning, coaches are subjected to a $2,000 fine. Blandisi is No. 3 — in December, Devils forward Jordin Tootoo was punished for diving/embellishment and, in January, fellow forward Bobby Farnham was dinged.

Gudas says he gets it now — ‘I can’t be doing this on the ice’

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Did Radko Gudas finally get the message?

Only time will tell, but his coach is clearly running out of patience.

“The play the other night didn’t help us win a hockey game,” Dave Hakstol told reporters, per CSN Philly. “That’s the long and short of it, publicly.”

Hakstol said he spoke privately with Gudas following yet another game misconduct for the big defenseman Tuesday against New Jersey. Because Gudas was tossed at 8:10 of the first period after needlessly running over Devils forward Bobby Farnham, the Flyers were forced to play with five defenseman for most of that contest.

At the very least, Gudas waited until late in the third to get booted out of a game against Buffalo a few days earlier. Ditto for the game against Montreal on Feb. 2. And lest we forget he was suspended in December for a headshot on Ottawa forward Mika Zibanejad.

He insists he gets it now.

“I can’t be doing this on the ice,” he said.

And yet, he’s kept doing it.

Related: Flyers staff give Gudas a talking to as questionable hits pile up