Mark Pysyk is just the flashy name you clicked on this article for, huh? Pysyk has spent most of his time playing on the second pair for the lowly Buffalo Sabres. The most valuable thing about Pysyk is for his consistent end product, it does not come at much of a price. Mark Pysyk is signed to a 1-year deal that costs only $900,000, perfect for a team like the Canes who are very short on cap space. The Canes always seem to be in the market for a reliable third-pair defenseman, and Pysyk could fill this role to a tee.
Pysyk was drafted and developed by Buffalo in 2010, and made his professional debut for the teams’ AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, during the 2012-13 season. Mark made his debut for the Sabres in November of 2013 and went back and forth between the AHL and NHL for a number of years. Mark continued to bounce between the Sabres and the Rochester Americans for parts of four seasons before being traded to the Florida Panthers at the 2016 draft.
Mark Pysyk became an NHL regular with the Florida Panthers over the four seasons he spent with the organization. Pysyk often played the role of bottom-pairing defenseman for the Panthers and was relied upon pretty often by coaches. So relied upon in fact, when Florida was down some members of their forward group in February of 2020 due to injury, Mark Pysyk was asked to slot in the right-wing in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The result was one of the most bizarre single-game performances in NHL history when Pysyk was able to record a hat trick. Mark set a career-high in goals with 9, and a career-high in points with 18 during the shortened 2019-20 season.
As a free agent Mark Pysyk signed a 1-year deal with the Dallas Stars ahead of the 2020-21 season, Dallas was coming off of a run to the Stanley Cup final. Pysyk struggled to find his role with Dallas during the pandemic-shortened season, as he only got into 36 games. After the season was over, Mark Pysyk opted to go back to his roots, re-signing with the Sabres during the 2021 free agency period.
As for fit with the Hurricanes, Pysyk is a right-shot defenseman that plays a very defensive role with the team. Although he is playing top-4 minutes in Buffalo, one would assume he would be in a more sheltered role if he were to come to Raleigh. The 30-year has recorded 2 goals and 9 assists through 58 games this season. The most attractive thing about Mark is the idea that his acquisition cost would not be much, most likely a mid-round pick, and salary wouldn’t be an issue as his 900K cap-hit would not put the Canes over the edge.
Question for Cardiac Cane readers: What players would you like the Hurricanes to bring in at the trade deadline?