NEWARK, N.J. -- Mark Fayne may have a finer appreciation for being drafted by New Jersey Devils CEO/president/general manager Lou Lamoriello than some of his teammates.
In four years playing at Providence College, the second-year defenseman was inundated with the Lamoriello legend. The man who has headed the Devils front office for over two decades was a fixture in Rhode Island and brought the Providence hockey program to its greatest heights.
Born and raised in the area, Lamoriello was a player and coach on the Providence hockey team and still holds the school record for coaching wins. After coaching a 1982-83 squad considered the best in school history, he stepped down to become the school's athletic director.
In 2009, Lamoriello earned the Vanguard Award for lifetime achievement at the annual Cox Rhode Island Sports Awards. A product of nearby Nashua, NH, Fayne appreciated Lamoriello's legacy long before arriving in New Jersey.
"Being at Providence, there is so much influence he still has there. Just seeing his name all over the rink," Fayne said. "The Hockey East [championship] trophy is the Lou Lamoriello Trophy, so that's what I was playing for for four years."
Fayne hasn't been alone in his appreciation for his boss. His former Providence teammate Matt Taormina has also broken in on the Devils defensive corp following four years playing with the Fryars.
"He was actually a partner of mine for two years," Fayne said. "It's really great."
It's a tribute to him, and everything he's done and deserved is coming to fruition tonight with his jersey in the rafters. He's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. And I said today, if he's not, take my stuff out. If he doesn't deserve to be in there first ballot, no one does. Except for (Wayne) Gretzky, I guess.
— Hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull on former teammate Mike Modano, whose No. 9 was retired by the Dallas Stars on Saturday