March 9, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Justin Faulk (27) skates during the 3rd period against the New Jersey Devils at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Devils 6-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Comparing Roman Josi's Contract To Justin Faulk

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.

Josi, who was drafted two years before Faulk, has amassed 34 points in 100 games and had an excellent season this year, taking over Ryan Suter‘s spot on the top pairing with Shea Weber.

Faulk has 37 points in 104 games, so the points totals nearly match each other.

Roman Josi forms one-half of the Predators’ top pairing. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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