Justin Faulk was traded to the St. Louis Blues by the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday with a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft for Joel Edmundson, Dominik Bokk and a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Faulk, a defenseman, signed a seven-year, $45.5 million contract extension after the trade. It has an annual average value of $6.5 million and begins in the 2020-21 NHL season. He is entering the final season of a six-year, $29 million contract (average annual value $4.83 million) he signed March 24, 2014.
"Justin comes with a very deep and strong resume, a player that's played in the League for a number of years," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "He's 27 years old, in the prime part of his hockey career. We feel he's tailor-made to today's NHL, a skater, someone that can transport and move the puck, touches both ends of special teams and has logged a lot of minutes over the years."
Faulk, the No. 37 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, played eight seasons for Carolina. He had 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) and was an NHL career-best plus-9 in 82 games last season, when he was an alternate captain and helped the Hurricanes reach the Eastern Conference Final, where they were swept by the Boston Bruins. He had 258 points (85 goals, 173 assists) and was minus-100 in 559 games for Carolina, averaging 23:03 of ice time per game.
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Faulk is the first significant addition this offseason for St. Louis, the defending Stanley Cup champion.
"Not that I didn't want to be in Carolina at all," he said, "but it's just nice that if you're going to move on and you're going to go to another team, another situation, it's another team that's having success and doing well. I'm happy to be a part of a team that's going to hopefully continue to have success. Obviously we all know what happened last season. That's great, and it's nice to join a team that's feeling good and confident and knowing what the rigors are like to keep going."
Faulk, the subject of trade rumors this offseason, had a list of 15 teams he would have had to approve a trade to, and the Blues were not one of them, Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said. There were recent reports that Faulk rejected a trade to the Anaheim Ducks.
"You kind of look through and you look at teams and kind of see the (NHL salary) cap situations and also see what teams have depth," Faulk said. "To be honest, St. Louis wasn't necessarily one team we were looking at that would be able to make the trade happen."
Waddell said he met with Faulk's agent, Brian Bartlett, at the 2019 NHL Draft in June and made a contract offer, but "we just didn't feel like we could get where we needed to be."
As for trading Faulk now rather than during the season, Waddell said, "The value (of Faulk) as a potential unrestricted free agent wouldn't have been what the value was for us when we made the trade. St. Louis was willing to meet what his contract demands were. Part of the agreement was they would pay this price if they could get an extension, so that's what was important to us, to get the most value we can. That's why we gave St. Louis permission to talk to the player."
Armstrong said it was imperative to have an extension in place with Faulk.
"We didn't want to get into a situation when we were giving up (a lot) for a player that we wanted this year, but not having some security and cost certainty moving forward to Justin," said Armstrong, who said Carolina will retain about 14 percent of Faulk's salary this season. "And credit to ultimately his agents. They understood what we were trying to accomplish."
Edmundson was awarded a one-year, $3.1 million contract with the Blues by an independent arbitrator Aug. 6. The 26-year-old defenseman had 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 64 games last season and seven points (one goal, six assists) in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help St. Louis win the Cup for the first time in its history. Selected in the second round (No. 46) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Edmundson has 52 points (13 goals, 39 assists) in 269 regular-season games and 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 49 playoff games with the Blues.
Waddell said Carolina needed a stay-at-home defenseman like Edmundson with Jake Gardiner, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin providing offense at the position.
Bokk was selected by the Blues with the No. 25 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The 19-year-old forward has played the past two seasons in the Swedish Hockey League.
"Joel is a big, physical presence (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) on defense who knows what it takes to win a championship," Waddell said. "Dominik was a first-round pick who has a real chance to be an impact player on the NHL level."
The trade is the latest in a series of moves involving defensemen for Carolina. The Hurricanes signed Gardiner to a four-year contract as a free agent Sept. 6 and acquired defenseman Gustav Forsling from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade for defenseman Calvin de Haan on June 24. Last offseason, Carolina acquired Hamilton in a trade that sent defenseman Noah Hanifin to the Calgary Flames.
NHL.com independent correspondents Louie Korac and Kurt Dusterberg, and staff writer Tom Gulitti contributed to this report