The Washington Capitals desperately need to shore up their defense this off-season. They need to find at least one top 4 defenseman. Mark Fayne could be a good bargain for them.
Mark Fayne: The Good
Mark Fayne is one of the best, if not the best, shutdown defensemen on the free agent market. He has great size (6’3″ and 220 pounds), which is something that the Washington Capitals, outside of John Carlson, Karl Alzner, and John Erskine, lack on defense. His advanced stats suggest that he is a lot better than he looks on paper. Here are his Fenwick percentages (shots for (not just shots on goal) / shots for + shots against) at even strength and zone start percentages (offensive zone starts / offensive zone starts + defensive zone starts) the past three seasons:
2011-2012: 51.5%, 50.1%
2013: 58.9%, 46.9%
2013-2014: 55.0% , 47.3%
I used even strength because he spends quite a bit of time on the penalty kill, so that naturally lowers your Fenwick by quite a bit. Speaking of his penalty killing, he has been a valuable member of the New Jersey Devils‘ penalty kill for several seasons. The Capitals penalty kill definitely needs to be improved, so Fayne would obviously help fix that.
Mark Fayne is a very disciplined player who tends to stay out of the penalty box. In 242 career games, Fayne has just 99 penalty minutes.
Mark Fayne: The Bad
For someone who is as big as Mark Fayne, he doesn’t get a lot of hits. He barely averages a hit per game. Fayne is also not going to give you much on offense. Here are his point totals the past three seasons:
2011-2012: 17 points (four goals, 13 assists)
2013: Six points (one goal, five assists)
2013-2014: 11 points (four goals, seven assists)
Obviously he would need to be paired with someone who is a bit stronger on offense.
Mark Fayne would definitely be a great fit for the Washington Capitals. They desperately need stay at home defensemen, and Fayne is one of the best available. Unlike Brooks Orpik, Fayne isn’t old.
If the Capitals sign him, I see him best utilized as a top 4 defenseman if he’s paired with Mike Green. Green must be paired with a stay at home defenseman and Fayne needs to be paired with someone who can be productive on offense. Match made in heaven.
As usual, let me know what you think in the comments!