From early on this off-season the Edmonton Oilers showed interest in free agent defenceman Mark Fayne. It all came together in the form of a four-year contract with the club shortly after the start of free agency.
“It’s been a crazy few days with not really knowing where you’re going to end up,” Fayne said. “I’m real happy to be in Edmonton and can’t wait to get up there.”
Fayne says the Oilers contacted him early on and it resulted in a sit-down meeting.
“It was my first free agency period so everything is a new experience. Early on, my agent told me at the draft that Edmonton really wanted me to sit down with them and have a meeting. From then on it just seemed like everything was going the right direction. We both liked what we were hearing and it seemed like a real good fit so it’s where I decided to go.”
While weighing his options, Fayne determined the Oilers were the best fit. He’s looking forward to joining the youthful core already in place.
“The whole thought process was on the direction they’re moving, the talent that is up there right now and just how close that they are to becoming (competitive). It just felt like a place that’s ready to take off and I’m trying to get in on the ground flow and do whatever I can to turn it around.”
With four seasons under his belt, all with the New Jersey Devils, Fayne feels like he’s developed into a much more consistent defenceman.
“I think I’ve become a lot more consistent. I know what it takes to shutdown another team’s top lines and how to stay composed throughout the game. Also, I try to bring some offence whenever I can, whether it is starting the rush or trying to get some shots through. I think overall it is just staying composed and being consistent every night.”
Fayne describes himself as defence-first, team player who facilitates plays on the ice to help the skilled players. He has played 242 regular season games in his NHL career, registering 48 points (13-35-48) and 99 penalty minutes. In 24 playoff games he has three points (0-3-3).
“I take care of my own end first. I definitely like to work from the net out and just keep everything safe and get the puck up for the forwards as quick as I can to let them do their job. I try to get the pucks through at the offensive blue line and chip in when I can but mostly it is just taking care of our end and getting it to the skill guys.”
Fayne leaves the Devils to continue his career in Edmonton, where the idea of playing in Canadian market has the Nashua, New Hamshire native excited for the possibilities.
“I’ve heard great things about the organization up there. They’ve always been known to be one of the most enthusiastic fan bases and sell out every game. That’s definitely something players thrive off of, the energy of the building.”