The St. Louis Blues announced Tuesday that they have acquired Justin Faulk from the Carolina Hurricanes and then quickly signed the defenseman to a seven-year contract extension worth $45.5 million. With the trade, the Blues are proving that as the defending Stanley Cup Champions, they are not prepared to get comfortable.
St. Louis also picked up a fifth-round draft pick in 2020 while Carolina gets back defenseman Joel Edmundson, prospect Dominik Bokk and a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Faulk, 27, had 85 goals and 258 points with the Hurricanes — club records in both stat categories among defencemen. “We are excited to add Justin to our core group for the next eight years,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. “He’s a top-4 defenceman who averages over 23 minutes a game and we are confident he will be a strong addition to our club.”
While Edmundson is a good player, this is being considered a big get for the Blues by most NHL media who are commenting on the trade.
A Faulk Trade Was Inevitable
Entering the final year of his contract with the Hurricanes, Faulk was often in the rumor mill this offseason, likely a trade chip for the Hurricanes with a deep blue line corps. Once the Hurricanes acquired Jake Gardiner as an unrestricted free agent, most insiders believed it was simply a matter of time before Faulk was moved.
NHL media like Elliotte Friedman suggested Faulk might be on the block earlier in the summer and Adam Gold, Radio host/Adam and Joe Show on 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, wrote, “He [Faulk] has a no-trade clause, so it becomes complicated. Not impossible, but complicated.” That proved to be true as the Anaheim Ducks emerged as a suitor for Faulk but couldn’t get an extension done with the offensive d-man and the trade ultimately fell through.
The Ducks loss became the Blues gain as the organization must have been on the Faulk trade list because the two sides were able to work out a deal quickly to consummate the trade as it was announced.
After the move, Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said, “We’d like to thank Justin for both his on-ice and off-ice contributions during his time with the Hurricanes.” He added, “He was a great teammate and made a significant impact on the community, and we wish him all the best moving forward.”
What’s Next for the Blues?
There’s some speculation that the Blues might not be done making moves. As the defending Champions, there is already talk that the team has removed all references to their Stanley Cup win and are trying not to get cozy as the defending champions.
Faulk’s extension doesn’t kick in until next season but at that time, the Blues have four free agents on the blue line as well some bigger-ticket forwards up for an extension. It will be interesting to see which direction they choose to go with Faulk now in the fold over the long haul.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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