Mark Fayne has been a good soldier since the arrival of Todd McLellan as Oilers’ coach. Fayne’s limitations made him an uncomfortable fit for the head coach, who faded and then demoted him. Nothing personal, just business. With the Oilers down a quality veteran for a portion of the season, is there some daylight for Mark Fayne? Could we see him in the lineup in 2017-18? (End over End).
MARK FAYNE 2015-16
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.36 (5th among regular D)
- 5×4 points per 60: nil (in two minutes)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 49.1
- Qual Comp: toughest among regular D
- Qual Team: 4th best available among regular D
- Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -1.2
- Shots on goal/percentage: 61 shots/3.3%
- Boxcars: 69GP, 2-5-7
- Information via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, behindthenet.ca and hockey-reference.
RE 17-18: 16GP, 0-1-1
- What is his biggest asset? He can defend.
- Any other positives? His shifts are short. That’s a positive. Fayne defends, gets the puck heading north, gets off the ice. Tyler Dellow was discussing the point on twitter the other day, about the negative impact of Corsi for 5×5 when a player hits the bench early or on time. I wrote about it a little here , maybe there’s something to it.
- Are you the only guy still defending him? No, not at all. I think if you ask anyone about Fayne, the numbers show he can defend. He was effective with Andrej Sekera in 2015-16, although he brings minimal offense.
- Is that why Todd McLellan moved away from him? I think it was about foot speed, but the lack of puck movement may have had something to do with it.
- Getting back to the puck? Yes, but also standing up at the blue line to deny entry. Fayne cheats because he has to (imo), I think lots of NHL defensemen do, but Fayne may have done it more and earlier in the sortie, while also being slower to the puck. If that makes sense.
- But you see him playing more this season? Yes. The Sekera injury may force Kris Russell to LH side, and the right side is a little wobbly after Adam Larsson and Matt Benning. The club likes Eric Gryba as 7D, maybe there’s a window.
- Is this the end of the defensive defender? Could be, although the Oilers do employ players who have a lot of their overall value tied up on the defensive side of the puck. I don’t think there’s a lot of difference between Mark Fayne and Eric Gryba, as a for instance. Just a little down the road is Kris Russell. Adam Larsson may be the new definition of defensive defenseman, although I put him in the two-way category.
- You mentioned Fayne has been a good soldier. Does that count? Don’t know, but at some point keeping your mouth shut can’t hurt when your name pops up one year later. Part of it depends on how long Sekera is out, and another part depends on Fayne’s pre-season performance.
- Who would he partner with? Perhaps Kris Russell or Darnell Nurse. Fayne’s weaknesses are clear, but I’ve always liked having a veteran hand with a young player. Fayne, for me, is at least adequate on the third pairing.
- Will Fayne be traded at the deadline? Great question. I think Mark Fayne can help a team. If another general manager agrees, deadline 2018 will be a point where the Oilers might be able to offload him for a modest return. I also believe he might have some value to Edmonton and that could factor into things.
- Will he help in Bakersfield? Yes. I think he’ll be a top defender there (again) and mentor all of the youngsters. I think he might be an excellent partner for Caleb Jones and should also be able to help Ethan Bear, Ziyat Paigin and Ryan Mantha. Young defensemen can learn a lot from a savvy veteran like Mark Fayne.
- Is there an underlying reason for his demotion last year? No sir. The Oilers are pretty open about these things and for me this was an issue about playing the position. Standing up at the blue line was probably the major item. There’s no story here beyond the game itself.
- Will he sign a one-way NHL deal next season? He’s 30 now, righthanded, has 389 NHL games. If I’m his agent, I sign the first one-way deal available to a team with a 7D opening. Those players get into 40-50 games a year. No doubt Fayne will have to rebuild his reputation, and he’s running out of time at (what will be) 31. I think there’s tread on the tires.
- What will be his biggest resume bullet point? He is a RHD and general managers plus coaching staffs are valuing it more and more every year.
- Laddy Smid played in the wrong era. Yes. Plus Laddy was a lefty.
- Why this song? Lots of lines fit, some (“I’m a revolving door”) senselessly cruel and others (“I’ve seen it all before, I will begin again”) perhaps poignant in light of his recent career path.
RE (SO FAR) 2017-18 OILERS BLUE