Justin Faulk knew the trade winds were blowing. There was that alleged trade which fell through. It was believed the Anaheim Ducks made the offer and that Faulk said no. Naturally, something was brewing when it was revealed that Faulk was being kept off the ice and was healthy.
Sure enough, just hours later, Faulk was traded to the St. Louis Blues. The trade broke down to this.
TRADE ALERT! #stlblues acquire Justin Faulk and a fifth-round pick in 2020 from the Carolina Hurricanes.
— St. Louis Blues 🏆 (@StLouisBlues) September 24, 2019
In addition, Faulk signed a seven-year contract extension worth over $45 million. That deal kicks in for the 2020-21 season. It was known apparently that Faulk was not long for Carolina but did have a 15-team no-trade list. Once St. Louis was given permission to deal with Faulk. it seemed a deal did not take long.
What the Justin Faulk trade means for St. Louis
Simply, it means the Blues are stacked on the right side of their defense. Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, and now Justin Faulk patrol that side. Though the Blues paid a decent price for Faulk (plus the extension), it could have been worse.
From the Carolina viewpoint, they could not sign Justin Faulk anyway. They did not have the cap space as Faulk probably wanted $6.5-7 million AAV a year to stay in Carolina. That depends on who you want to believe, of course. The subsequent extension increases the St. Louis cap by $1.733 million for the 2020-21 campaign.
Is this something they may regret again? Perhaps. On the other hand, they may not. St. Louis hopes Faulk pays off short-term as long-term the money committed decreases.
What the Justin Faulk extension means for St. Louis
Faulk signed a seven-year extension worth an AAV of $6.5 million. This kicks in during the age 28 campaign for the new Blues defender. As mentioned above, Faulk is now under St. Louis over the next eight seasons.
Faulk averaged just about a point every other game and is a couple of years removed from a run that saw him total 48 goals over the course of three years. The former Hurricanes defenseman lit the lamp 11 times in 2018-19, including six power-play goals.
The St. Louis power-play gets an upgrade for the next several years at least. Arguably, Faulk at least upgrades the third pairing at even-strength and maybe the second when needed. This does give the Blues some flexibility.
Breakdown of Justin Faulk’s extension with #stlblues:
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 25, 2019
Again, Faulk provides another shot and ability to move the puck for better or for worse. Faulk feels like he could be sheltered well enough (like in Carolina).
STL acquires Justin Faulk (27 y.o.) and signs him to $6.5 mil x 7 yrs.
He was CAR’s sixth-best by WAR last year, owned the worst xG share among DEF, but facilitated offense very well and was a plus in both zone exits and denying entries against. pic.twitter.com/I4wbSre6aG
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) September 24, 2019
St. Louis acquired the best player, extended him, and now shore up their defense, for now of course.
What the Justin Faulk trade means for Carolina
The Carolina Hurricanes decreased their cap hit (-1.733 million) and they get Joel Edmundson for a year and a prospect. Dominik Bokk may not develop into a top-six player but maybe he does down the road.
The result of the Tuesday afternoon trade involving the former All-Star is that Carolina makes roster space while rolling the dice a bit on Bokk. He has not exactly torn it up in the SHL but is about a point every other game player. The 19-year-old has some work to do defensively.
Also, Bokk needs to learn that extra acceleration which separates himself from other forwards. It’s there but does not appear often enough.
As for Edmundson, he is under contract for a year now with Carolina. He gets the ability to play sheltered minutes and chances to contribute. This could lead to a bigger contract, even somewhere else. It is good for the defenseman even if it feels like a gut punch initially.