Justin Faulk will be a restricted free agent at the end of next season. Faulk is important to the Canes’ team, but even more so to the defense. If GM Jim Rutherford is doing his job right, he’ll start negotiations on a new contract early, perhaps even this summer.
The Nashville Predators just locked up their most important RFA, Roman Josi yesterday to a 7-year/$28 million deal for a $4 million cap hit each season. That contract could be a comparable to what Faulk will get when he re-signs with the Canes.
For one, Josi and Faulk are similar players – they both excel in the offensive zone, reliable in the defensive and fly under the radar of most hockey fans.
Faulk has 37 points in 104 games, so the points totals nearly match each other.
Then there is also the potential each player has. Both have the ability to be top-pairing and possibly franchise-defenseman in the coming years. Both have already shown that they deserve to be on the first line with time on the power-play and penalty kill.
However, there are some slight differences. Faulk is two years younger than Josi, making an impact on the Canes’ roster earlier in his career. And while Josi is the sidekick on Weber’s top pairing in Nashville, Faulk can lead his own pairing.
Because of these reasons, I would expect that Faulk’s next contract would be similar to Josi’s. The length may not be as long, but the cap hit should be right around the same with maybe $500,000 more going to Faulk.