by Lowetide

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 and hockey-reference.

RE 17-18: 16GP, 0-1-1

  1. What is his biggest asset? He can defend.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14.  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.
  15. Laddy Smid played in the wrong era. Yes. Plus Laddy was a lefty.
  16. 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.



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We forget that the reason Fayne was benched was because he was late getting to coverage, his man coverage was poor and often his mistakes ended up in the back of the net. A decent Corsi number doesn’t quantify those things.

So in a McLellan defensive system, that “can defend” is highly subjective.

Optimism is like heroin

Fayne will make a good injury relief player i think this year and don’t see him getting traded at the deadline with lessons learned last year in the playoffs. We need 8 dmen that can play in the nhl and he should have been recalled when sekera went down.


In the past for many years Woodguy and I would say get/keep good NHL defenseman. Mark Fayne is a good player who’s not flashy and would be on my team any day. The stats show he can play at the NHL level and do what’s required. It’s just too bad his cap hit is so high but when the Oilers signed him they needed a player like him so badly they had to pay the piper.


Once again, per Stauffer, the target was not Barzal, but Eriksson-Ek.


I have dearly loved the Oilers since the glory days, and not as a home towner, but as a lover of the game played beautifully. Besides the Oilers back then, the Russian Red Army team played a beautiful game and they knew and wanted that.

Enough chips has fallen since the reign of Chiarelli began to reasonably characterize what he’s done.

It starts with the luck of drafting McDavid. That’s what ushered in Chiarelli.
The Oilers paid a premium for Chiarelli, making him not just GM but Pres, odd in the face of his being fired for big bad trades and bloating.

Essentially: Reign of Chiarelli = luck of McDavid + change in philosophy to play hard and with size + good coach + over-payments + over-terming + tinkering.

I credit the trading of Barzal and Carlo for Reinhart into over-payment liability account — and boy, what waste of company resources that proved to be, ugh!

The positives: change in philosophy, good coach, tinkering.

The negatives: over-payments, over-terming.

Likely net: a short term surge at the gross expense of long term prospects + harnessing a player that likely redeems the gross public expenditure of the new stadium, et al.


Anyone willing to bet Strome outscores Eberle in playoff points this season?


Nobody wants to talk about Mark Fayne in August?

That’s weird.

Maybe it should be pointed out that his previous team was the New Jersey Devils, the team that the Oilers traded TAYLOR HALL to.



Thanks for mentioning the veteran rules. I’d completely forgotten about this set of rules, and great to hear they’ll ensure the young guys get a decent number of games (injuries will help too obviously)


OP: When factoring in GP for prospects in the AHL, another thing to keep in mind is that wonky ‘veteran rule’ that impacts every game.

Of the 18 skaters (not counting two goaltenders) that teams may dress for a game, at least 13 must be qualified as “development players.” Of those 13, 12 must have played in 260 or fewer professional games (including AHL, NHL and European elite leagues), and one must have played in 320 or fewer professional games. All calculations for development status are based on regular-season totals as of the start of the season.

So, and this is nuts and I know it, guys like Mark Fayne and Ryan Stanton are veterans and will have ‘rotation games’ where they don’t play even when healthy. This applies only to skaters, but every night sixD and 12 F have to have 12 men who are still ‘development’ players.

Possible Condors: Fayne, Stanton, Keegan Lowe, Yohann Auvitu, Ryan Hamilton, Mitch Callahan, Brad Malone, Iiro Pakarinen. That’s eight. Ty Rattie has 250, so this is his last season as a development player.

What happens is they rotate, usually evenly. So, let’s say the AHL team adds one more veteran (this often occurs). That would be nine veterans, with six veteran spots nightly. Meaning, without injury, each veteran would play 2 of 3 games. Condors play 68 games. 66 percent of 68 games is 45 games.

All of which is to say Caleb Jones will get his games, as will Paigin and Bear. Mantha might end up in the ECHL but he’ll get time, too.

Yes, this is a very good point, thank you.

Soup Fascist

I am heading out for the rest of the weekend, LT, but:

1) the earth is flat
2) hot dogs should be eaten with ketchup
3) Mark Fayne is no longer an NHL defender

Au revoir.

Victoria Oil

I probably like Fayne a bit more than the average Oilers fan, but I would take the under on him playing 16 games. I just don’t think McLellan has that much faith in him.


Playing with Russell? I’m not sure they’d be able to move the puck out with possession more than once in a blue moon – Russell should be more effective at moving the puck from the left side, but still.

I do like the idea of playing him with Jones while in Bakersfield – that would at least mean that Jones is getting his at bats (which I’m a bit worried about for some of the new arrivals).


I am still positive, OK, highly confident, that Mark Fayne is a serviceable d-man in the NHL.

I know, I know, there is a foot speed issue and for a defense only d-man he isn’t all that physical but can’t the man defend? Weren’t we, as fans, excited about his arrival because of solid play in tough minutes in Jersey? Was it really all Andy Greene?

I’m not sure what happened when the new coaching staff took over but they soured on Fayne pretty darn quick – there were opportunities to call him up last season and he didn’t get the call. Maybe they wanted to see what Simpson can do?

Anyways, he’s clearly penciled in to play top 4 minutes and a mentoring role in Bakersfield. From all accounts he did very well in that role next year.

I do like that we have Fayne as cover for the youngsters.

As LT pointed out to me last week or the week before, NHL teams use 11-15 d-men/year and currently that takes us to the Jones/Paigin part of the depth chart and I don’t want those kids rushed. If they earn a cup of coffee on merit, that’s one thing but no coffee for them should be forced due to depth chart issues.

I could see Fayne play some NHL minutes this year although it seems like the coaching staff will try to avoid that at all costs if last year is any indication.