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The New Jersey Devils Should Re-Sign Mark Fayne

May 30, 2014, 11:58 AM ET [31 Comments]
Todd Cordell
New Jersey Devils Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
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One of the more interesting things to watch this summer will be what Lou Lamoriello decides to do with the defense.

Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas and Adam Larsson are all ready to be regulars in the NHL, and in order for all three of them to be in the lineup some space needs to be cleared.

With Mark Fayne and Marek Zidlicky set to become unrestricted free agents in July, the easy thing to do would be allow those two to walk and let the kids fill their roles.

I don't think that's the smart thing to do - buying out Anton Volchenkov makes more sense - and think both should be re-signed, with more urgency on Fayne because of his age and the expected lower price tag he'll carry with him.

To the casual fan who cares about offensive flare, flashiness, and point totals Fayne doesn't really stand out. Most see him as a third pairing defenseman, but the reality is he's played big minutes over the last few seasons on the top pairing and has more than held his own.

Some will argue his underlying numbers are better because he's playing with Andy Greene, who may be the most underrated defenseman in the league. While that may be true, Greene has also benefited from playing with Fayne, and his numbers have been better with him than with other players.

Note: these are the combined numbers over the last two seasons. Greene's three most frequent partners are shown in order of most minutes played together

While the difference between playing with Fayne and Zidlicky isn't huge, Greene has been at his best with Fayne. He's also been at his worst without Fayne.

Fayne's numbers without Greene take a hit as well, but the numbers show mutual benefit when they're paired together.

His price tag likely won't be overly high, and I think the Devils are a better team with him than without him. At 27 years of age he still has plenty of good years ahead of him, so retaining him and keeping Greene and Fayne together as a quietly darn good top pairing makes too much sense to pass up.

If it isn't broke don't fix it, they say.


Devils posts

Evaluating the 4th line

Devils draft notes

Mike Santorelli could be a fit in New Jersey

Gelinas 2.0?

Radim Vrbata makes sense for the Devils

On Brendan Lemieux and the Devils

Backup options for Schneider

It's time for Brodeur and the Devils to part ways

Buying out Anton Volchenkov makes sense

Why the Devils may shop Michael Ryder

What will Cory Schneider's next contract look like?

Jackets posts

R.J. Umberger requests trade out of Columbus

Should Columbus buyout R.J. Umberger?

How should Columbus handle Ryan Johansen's next contract?


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