Tonight, the Carolina Hurricanes welcome one of the best defensemen in the history of the franchise. It’s time we welcome back former Carolina Hurricanes co-captain Justin Faulk to Raleigh, North Carolina. It will be his first game against his old team in Raleigh since his first appearance back was scheduled to be just after the pause in the league schedule in 2019.
Two years later, and finally the University of Minnesota-Duluth graduate will return to the City of Oaks. Expect a video tribute for the former Hurricanes blueliner, as he will return to Raleigh for the first time. He’s going to get his long-awaited homecoming, and he honestly deserves it. Faulk gave everything he had for this organization time and again.
When he was drafted by the Canes in 2010, 37th overall, there were a lot of expectations put on the big offensive defenseman. He was expected to be a capable powerplay quarterback and he was expected to help ensure annual playoff success. He would eventually help the franchise achieve the latter, but it was 9 years after he was drafted by the organization.
With the Carolina Hurricanes, Faulk tallies 85 goals and 173 assists for 258 points in 559 games. He was a fantastic servant for the organization and he gave this team a lot of services, and he helped mentor some of the fantastic blueliners that are still on the team. But his time in Raleigh is often considered checkered because of what happened after he was drafted.
Justin Faulk became one of the scapegoats for the Hurricanes’ continued failure. He didn’t make a playoff appearance until the 2019 playoffs in the first year under this front office and he was often seen as one of the reasons for it. When the 2019 off-season rolled around, Carolina deemed Faulk to be surplus to requirement and decided to move him to St Louis, and the team has just been excellent since he departed.
Carolina moved Faulk and a 5th for Joel Edmundson, Dominik Bokk, and a 7th rounder, and they would move Edmundson on to Montreal in exchange for another 5th rounder, so Faulk really became Bokk, a 5th, and a 7th. It looks like this trade will pay dividends in the long run for the Canes with how Bokk is progressing, but we’re not here to talk about Bokk.
Since moving to St Louis, Faulk has struggled with injuries. He’s had success and struggles, but his injury woes have really impacted his time as a Blue. Considering he was given a mammoth extension once he arrived in the Gateway to the West, this doesn’t bode well for his long-term performances and him living up to the money he is getting paid, but that’s one of the reasons he was moved on.
Expect a video tribute for the long-serving former co-captain. He’s one of the most deserving players to get one. But this is going to be an emotional night for the former Canes blueliner, and this is going to be a tough time for a lot of his former teammates playing their friend. It’s still looking like he’s going to be a brilliant game for fans tonight.