In 2019, the Carolina Hurricanes traded one of the best defensemen in the history of the organization away. We had known this was coming for a while, as his name had been in the rumor mills forever, but when Justin Faulk was eventually traded, there was a sense that the blade hanging over the head of the Canes leading point producer from the back end had dropped.
Many people look back at Faulk’s time in Raleigh and deem it a failure because they associate Faulk with the ten years of mediocrity. But the truth is, the South St Paul, Minnesota native never did anything or said anything that would damage the appearance of the team. He did nothing but give his all for the hockey club game after game, and he might not have been the blueline savior we wanted him to be, but he was a good player.
For a defenseman, Justin Faulk played in 559 games for the Hurricanes. His 85 goals and 173 assists for 258 points are still one of the highest totals for a defenseman in the history of the Hartford Whalers – Carolina Hurricanes organization. Faulk was a homegrown talent drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NHL entry draft and he carried himself with a great amount of class as a Canes, going to an all-star game.
In the summer of 2019, the Hurricanes had one of the deepest bluelines in hockey. In addition to that, they added free agent defenseman, Jake Gardiner. Faulk became the odd man out on the back end and in the end, it became inevitable that the player and team were going to separate eventually. His name had been in the rumor mill forever, and it felt like the time had come for both parties to move on.
At one point, news broke of a potential deal agreed with Anaheim, but that never came to fruition. Some people suggest that it was because of the leak that the deal never came around and then Ducks general manager Bob Murray decided to pull out of the trade after seeing the backlash that had come from the Ducks fans. But it wouldn’t be much longer until Faulk was indeed moved.
Faulk was traded to the St Louis Blues on September 24th, 2019, alongside a 5th-round draft pick. Carolina got back Joel Edmundson, Dominik Bokk, and a 7th-round draft selection. It was a trade that finally took the South St Paul, Minnesota native away from the organization that brought him into the league. After his first-ever playoff run, Faulk had been traded to the reigning Stanley Cup champions.