Oct 8, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New Jersey Devils defenseman Mark Fayne (7) during the second period against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Should Mark Fayne Return Next Season?

Feb 8, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) stick checks New Jersey Devils defenseman Mark Fayne (7) from behind during the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Fayne is finishing a 2-year, 1-way, $2.6 million contract with the New Jersey Devils. It will be the second contract that Fayne has completed with the team and his previous contract was also a 2-year deal.

Fayne was drafted in the 5th round, 155th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In 2010, he signed his entry-level contract with the team. The contract was a 2-year, 2-way, $1.085 million contract that left him as a restricted free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season.

After registering 34 points (8 goals, 26 assists) in 163 games in those two seasons, including the team’s playoff run in 2011-12, he signed his current $2.6 million contract that sees Fayne receiving a $200,000 raise from last season. Despite making $1.4 million this season, he is only inflicting a $1.3 million cap hit. Fayne will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Mark Fayne has only played in 80 games since the Devils lost in the finals and has 11 points (3 G, 8 A). This season he has 2 goals and 3 assists.

Fayne is the type of player where he won’t really light it up on the score sheet. He shows his worth on the defensive side of things. This season, his defense hasn’t been as questionable as some, but he hasn’t gained any sort of immunity.

Jan 11, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas (34) makes a save on a shot by New Jersey Devils defenseman Mark Fayne (7) while New Jersey Devils right wing Dainius Zubrus (8) screens him during the third period at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Panthers 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The simple solution would resemble a scenario like this:

Keep Fayne and get rid of a defensive liability like Bryce Salvador and the defense is now better.

The problem with that kind of scenario is that Salvador will not be a free agent until the end of the 2014-15 season. Not to mention he is the team’s captain.

The only defenseman that has an expiring contract other than Fayne is Marek Zidlicky. Zidlicky has at least made a strong case to return next season. 

With defenders like Adam Larsson, Eric Gelinas, and Raman Hrabarenka, there may not be that much room on defense for any questionable defensive players.

I think that the Devils should bring Fayne back but for one year. A lot of the guys I have covered so far have only earned 1-year contracts in my eyes and that may seem odd to have so many 1-year contracts but that is how I see their worth at. Almost all of the guys that have expiring contracts (minus Jagr and maybe Zidlicky) are bottom-of-the-pack types of guys that are struggling to find a groove.

The defensive prospects need a little more time in the AHL to hone their craft but another season may be all they need. I think Fayne should get a new deal but only for one year. He is making a good amount of cash to not produce, however, and I’d be interested to see what the cash amount would be for him.

Should Mark Fayne return next season? Cast your votes and comments below!

Should Mark Fayne Return Next Season?

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Stats and contract information courtesy of Cap Geek and the New Jersey Devils Official Website.

Tags: Mark Fayne New Jersey Devils

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