Mark Fayne was signed in free agency to provide Edmonton with a shut down defender who could help with the gathering storm. Fayne was deployed in a tough minutes role and delivered as best he could, but the effort was lost in the flood. Can a stay-at-home defender have a good season on a terrible defensive team and not get noticed?
RE 14-15: 67GP, 3-7-10 .149
ACTUAL 14-15: 74GP, 2-6-8 .108
MARK FAYNE BOXCARS, THREE YEAR TREND
MARK FAYNE FANCY STATS, THREE YEAR TREND
- What do the numbers tell us? Fayne was used in a slightly different fashion than in New Jersey and of course he didn’t have Andy Greene as his partner. That said, there are some good things here.
- Like what? He had the most severe zone start and faced the toughest comp (this is via war-on-ice) and his possession number is decent considering those factors. I liked the signing in the summer, seems to me Fayne will be fine the Chiarelli can get him a good partner and a goalie.
- Who did he play with? Most often with Martin Marincin and most successfully with Niki Nikitin.
- Who should he play with? Andy Greene would be nice.
- Did the Oilers have anyone like that on the roster? Yes. Jeff Petry.
- Too bad you didn’t suggest that pairing last fall! I did! Also suggested Nikitin-Fayne might have value.
- Is there anyone on the current roster who could play against the tough opposition effectively with Fayne next season? I think there are candidates for the job, but they’re inexperienced. Oscar Klefbom may be used in that kind of role next season, Martin Marincin may grow into that role and Darnell Nurse could eventually perform in that situation. None are terrific options for next season.
- What about Andrew Ference? I don’t think the captain can wheel at that rate anymore.
- Anyone out there? Willie Mitchell would be nice, Andy Greene, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Barret Jackman had a pretty good season in the role, Zbynek Michalek. Your mileage may vary.
- So, if they get one of those guys, you’re fine with Fayne in this role? Sure. It’s a tough job. Fayne had tough zone starts and was playing the toughest available opposition, and—on this team—helped the Oilers to a 46% possession number. At the very least, I’m prepared to give him the job for another year.
- Is Fayne the only veteran you like? He’s the only veteran who will be around when the good times come. Fayne is 27 (birthday later this month) and has 316 NHL games to his credit. Edmonton has him under contract until summer 2018 and the team should be headed in a good direction by that time. Another contract—he’ll turn 31 that summer—seems reasonable.
- How many kids make the team next season? Do we want to have this conversation now or after the RE?
- Look, it snowed last night, it’s crappy this morning. How many kids? I think we’ll see two moves by Chiarelli this summer, one by trade and the other in free agency.
- Okay, shoot. If you’re looking for specifics, signing Andrej Sekera and trading for Brent Seabrook are my answers.
- What is the cost on Seabrook? I’ll say the No. 16 overall pick and Martin Marincin, and we can quibble about what might come back or additional assets heading the other way.
- What would the pairings look like? Lots of room to mix and match, but I would suggest Sekera—Seabrook, Nikitin —Fayne and Klefbom—Schultz. 7D is Andrew Ference.
- That’s an expensive defense. You bet. Sekera will be a five-spot, Seabrook is $5.8M, Nikitin $4.5M, Fayne $3.625M, Klefbom $1.244M and Schultz $3.625M. Plus Ference at $3.25M. That’s just past $27M.
- What’s the cap? $71.5 million? Something like that.
- That’s too much to spend on defense! Then buy out Nikitin and replace him with a less expensive option. Or trade Justin Schultz over the summer, that’s an idea worth talking about more.
- Is this your sneaky way of getting Darnell Nurse on the team? I don’t think there’s a way to keep Nurse off the team this season, but adding Sekera and Seabrook probably blocks him off pretty well, depending on who gets sent out of town.
- Marincin leaving isn’t going to be any fun. No, but if you have Klefbom with one year’s experience and Nurse as the first callup, that’s enough youth for one season.
- What does the ‘bubbling under’ depth chart look like? If we assume the above to be the future, then the Bakersfield team would have Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson, Brad Hunt, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle, Dillon Simpson, Martin Gernat, Joey Laleggia. Something like that.
- Among that group, who will we see next season? It’s all back to ‘start’ if a new coach comes in. I think most of these guys are placeholders at this point in their career, with Brandon Davidson valued by MacT, Howson and the management group. However, that all changes with Chiarelli and the new coach.
- You think we’ll see a chance in the weather on the depth chart in Bakersfield? I think MacT always valued guys like Davidson (or Toby Petersen or Scott Ferguson) more than their actual value. Suspect Chiarelli will see things in a different manner and that may impact the future of these young men.
- Wait a minute here. You hate Davidson? No, like Davidson a ton. I’m just saying that the same mind that projected Justin Schultz as a Norris candidate also called up Brandon Davidson over Martin Marincin. Those are peculiar things, they’re a tell. MacT doesn’t give a rat’s ass about draft pedigree and that’s a good thing. Until it’s not.
- Okay. Sure. Why this song? Pretty self explanatory on one level, because Fayne went from a quality pairing in NJ to an elevator shaft in Edmonton. Whatever is required from his partner to make the tandem effective, Fayne didn’t have that help here.
- Anything else? The stronger link is this: The song comes from the 1975 album ‘Win, Lose or Draw’ and that album came at the end of some of the greatest music ever put to vinyl. It was an awful record, was panned by the critics and ignored by radio. One of the few items worthwhile? This song. I think that fits Fayne in relation to the defensemen acquired during the MacT era via free agency.
- Do you really think we’ll see No. 16 and Marincin plus leaving, and NHL veterans coming in? Yes. I think there’s enough out there in terms of cap concerns, and a desire in Edmonton to turn north. I can’t say it will be Seabrook and Sekera, it could be Mike Green and Paul Martin. However, someone is coming.