Mar 11, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Mark Fayne (7) and Philadelphia Flyers center Brayden Schenn (10) battle for the puck during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Will Mark Fayne Pursue Free Agency?

Mark Fayne is finishing a 2-year, $2.6 million contract with the New Jersey Devils.

He managed to play in 72 games in the 2013-14 season and scored 4 goals and had 7 assists. The defender finished with a -5 plus/minus rating for the season.

Fayne was a player that showed a lot of promise throughout most of the season, especially as the season winded down in the last couple of months. Fayne’s best statistical month came in March when registered 2 goals and 3 assists and only had a -1 for the month.

Fayne is a valuable asset in the 2nd or 3rd defensive pairing, depending on who is on the roster at the time. The 5th round draft pick from the 2005 NHL Draft is more of a defensive defender and would contrast well with an offensive defenseman like Eric Gelinas. He also fits well on a pairing with a guy like Anton Volchenkov who is also defensive minded. Fayne has shown that he doesn’t always live and die with defense and can contribute offensively every so often.

Fayne will become an Unrestricted Free Agent after earning $1.4 million this year. His cap hit remained at $1.3 million.

As much as GM Lou Lamoriello may pursue Fayne, Mark could flip the script and request to test free agency. It depends if Bryce Salvador and/or Anton Volchenkov are even on the roster when they negotiate a contract.

Mark might get an offer from another team that would give him more ice time. Just eyeing his stats, Fayne averages around 17 minutes a game but could be paid more and play more elsewhere.

In the end, I think Fayne stays due to the Devils likely removing Salvador and/or Volchenkov and that would likely see him move up the ladder. As for salary I would say somewhere around what he is making but probably a tad more.

I think he will get a 2-year contract worth about $1.4 – $1.5 million a year.

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