Mark Fayne and Murderer’s Row

Mark Fayne

The Edmonton Oilers have made a pile of moves this summer, but the addition of Mark Fayne to an often overmatched defence corps might be the biggest.

He has something of a track record against good players.

What He Said

Jason Gregor had a nice piece on Fayne a couple of days ago, and he included some quotes from the defenceman which were revealing.

Particularly interesting to me was his comment on the matchups he faces:

Over the past few years I’ve developed into more of a stay home, shutdown guy playing against tougher opposition on a nightly basis. I think I’ve done my best when I am challenged the most, and I have to be aware of who is on the ice at all times. It’s a good challenge that I like taking on.

(emphasis mine)

Sometimes, players say things that don’t check out when you dig into the data. In this case, Fayne may well have understated things.

Murderer’s Row

Fayne’s played in the Eastern Conference for his entire career, but even so his most frequent 25 opponents feature some of the game’s biggest names. Fayne’s been on the ice against John Tavares more than against any other player in the league. Claude Giroux ranks third, Eric Staal fourth. Other notables include James Neal, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, Marian Gaborik and Tyler Seguin.

It’s a pretty impressive group.

Fayne’s posted a positive Corsi against that list of 25, nearly three full percentage points better than the average opponent those players face (and keep in mind that as a rule they’ll have been playing against good defencemen).

It’s not all him. He played most frequently with Andy Greene and Henrik Tallinder, and he played on a New Jersey Devils team that more often than not has been a strong club during his tenure.


Now, he’ll play with an Edmonton Oilers club that has no recent history of success. There is no Greene or younger version of Tallinder to be his partner; he’s likely either getting a second-tier veteran (Nikita Nikitin or Andrew Ference) or a rookie still finding his way in the majors.

But the key point here is that Oilers aren’t bringing somebody in to play a role he hasn’t had success in before. Fayne’s spent significant time assigned to some of the toughest matchups in the league, and he’s done a nice job in the role. This could be a major add for Edmonton.


  • OilPain

    With Smith no longer behind our defense and Ramsay running that show, combined with some actual experienced NHL defenders…
    If this team can actually make that first pass out of their zone to our forwards I think that alone will see plenty more wins

    • You’re quite the idiot to be making any judgement at this time. Obviously your criteria is much different than mine. I’ll decide if it was a good move once he gets a chance to lace up and actually hit the ice. After all that is where the game is won and lost. Victory in July !!! You make me laugh.

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        He’s the idiot? MacT is doing his job as the GENERAL MANAGER to ice a NHL caliber roster. How the player preforms is the player him self and the coach. You’re the idiot. MacT took the weaknesses in our own zone and size on this roster and added both.
        He has created the bottom 6 to fill those two voids voids VERY well, along with adding 2 actual NHL d-men.

        I believe @OilPain is not an idiot. He appreciates the fact MacT is doing the job he needs to.

      • Sounds like you are a complete a$$ Old Time Oil Fan.

        The comments section is a place for people to express opinions. I think most fans are excited about some of the moves adding experience and size to the team.

        It is fine to disagree or argue an opinion, but you attack him for expressing an opinion.