Home > Season Recap > The 2010-2011 Player Review: Adam Mair

The 2010-2011 Player Review: Adam Mair

Despite being alone in front of the net, Mair couldn't score a goal. Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will break down the 2010-2011 Devils season. We’ll cover the big team stories, but also offer a breakdown of individual player performances. In today’s review, we focus on Adam Mair.

Every team needs role players, from the solid-yet-unspectacular defenseman to the physical fourth-liner. These guys won’t draw praise but avoid criticism, their contributions going unnoticed by the media. The New Jersey Devils expected Adam Mair to be that player. In his seven seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, he was a consistent grinder on the team’s bottom two lines. He produced some points, but mostly did the thankless, dirty work of playing the corners and getting into scrums.

We all forget the sacrifices Mair made during the beginning of the season. He stuck around training with the team despite not having a contract. He paid his own way to hang around. The organization finally signed him on October 12, and the rest is history. But it’s a history met with a shoulder shrug and a see-ya later attitude. In his one season as a Devil, Mair didn’t really do anything noteworthy or special. He remained anonymous, which is neither good nor terrible.

Mair At Even Strength

Mair didn’t have a positive impact on the ice during even strength play. Of all forwards with 50-plus games played, he averaged the lowest time on ice (8.61). That number isn’t very surprising given his skill set and place on the team. Some of his other numbers aren’t shockers either. Mair played with less-than skilled teammates (minus-0.104 quality of teammate rating) and skated against other third and fourth liners (minus-0.137 quality of competition rating). Unsurprisingly, he recorded a rating of minus-1.28, worst among all skaters with the criteria above.

His offensive numbers are uninspiring as well. Mair isn’t a world class scorer – his career highs are eight goals and 19 points. He managed to be on the ice for just six goals for this season (0.64 per 60 rate) and 22 against (2.36 per 60 rate). His on-ice plus/minus of minus-1.71 is neither a shock nor a disappointment. He doesn’t score goals and his line will serve some up every now and then. Off the ice, the difference shrunk considerably. Goals for increased to 1.96 per 60, and goals against slightly rose to 2.40 per 60. The plus/minus rating dropped to minus-0.40, which makes sense. More offensively skilled players will produce more goals, considerably improving that rating.

Other offensive numbers improved as well with Mair off the ice. Shots for jumped from 23.5 per 60 to 27.6 per 60, a four shot difference. That’s pretty considerable, but understandable considering his lack of goal-scoring teammates. Also take into account he started in the offensive zone just 51.3% of the time this season and had equal neutral zone and offensive zone finishes (165).

The tie this up nicely, let’s look at Mair’s Corsi rating. His on-ice rating sat at minus-5.89, meaning he allowed almost six more shots than he generated. That’s clearly a huge negative. The off-ice Corsi jumps to plus-7.72, a complete turnaround from his numbers. The Devils averaged almost two more shots with him off the ice. All it goes to show is this – Mair was the prototypical fourth-liner, playing sparing minutes and doing the dirty work.

Conclusion

Mair did exactly what was asked of him this season. He provided depth and anchored the team’s fourth line. He did the dirty things, like crashing the crease and getting into puck battles. He managed to play hard and avoid penalties, setting a career-low in PIMs this season with 45.

Everyone figured Mair would be a key role player for this team. He stressed winning during the preseason, battling like it was the playoffs. He stepped up for teammates on the ice. He did everything right, earning him that contract. It’s a shame he couldn’t translate that into regular season success.

Mair’s role decreased significantly after Jacques Lemaire took over. He couldn’t crack the lineup in February, playing in only five games. Lemaire shifted him to defense during several practices, denying him the ability to even practice as a forward. Things changed in March, as Mair played in 11 of 14 games. He also appeared in the final six games of the season.

Lemaire showed Mair’s expendability. His contract ran for one season, and he may not return to the team next year. His total GVT value (value above replacement player, in goals) was a minus-2.2, worst on the team. That number has a ton to do with his skill set and his position in the lineup. It also makes the case that the Devils could choose to go with a younger player and expect the same results.

Mair was ghost-like this season with the Devils, a disappearing act no one truly expected. He did what was asked but nothing more.

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