The New Jersey Devils announced Monday they would welcome back Mark Fayne for the 2012-2013 season, but shortly after the encouraging news about the Devils’ brute defenseman, some unexpected news was released about his health for the start of next season.
Following news that Fayne would be offered a new contract to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent, the Devils countered by announcing that he will be out 3-4 months with surgery to his left wrist. The team had until 5 PM today to reveal whether or not they would, by default, offer him 110% of his contract from last season. Devils’ GM, Lou Lamoriello, made both announcements within a short hiatus of each other today.
Fayne, whose top-notch defense has become reputable in the last year, alone, would earn $55,500 more than he did in 2011-2012 accepting just the minimum offer. Because of his recent, on-ice prestige, his contract offer should be significantly more than the minimum offer.
As opposed to being an unrestricted free-agent where the Devils aren’t permitted to match offers plated by other teams, the Devils can match, raise, or accept additional offers from other teams for Fayne.
Amongst those the Devils qualified rights to for contract negotiations were fellow defenseman Matt Corrente and forward Vladimir Zharkov. Becoming unrestricted free agents as of today, and not picked up as qualifiers were goalie Timo Pielmeier and forward Kory Nagy.
Fans would infer that the intentions are to keep Fayne as he was a fixture to the chemistry that made an outstanding 2011-2012 season. Nonetheless, wonders now circle around his wrist surgery and how it will affect any wheeling and dealing that could have been brewing. If there was any exchangeable offers for Fayne that management felt would make the Devils better for next season, the offers could be limited now.
Time will now tell how the Devils and/or teams of interest will seek a contract for Fayne. A wrist injury could prove more detrimental to an offensive player than a player of his positioning. Regardless, the injury is to his non-shooting hand and could heal without any side effects.
If the Devils are more than certain that he will make full return, and if all external offers are below the worth of New Jersey’s team-improvement, then keeping Fayne would be a healthy choice for the New Jersey Devils.
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