The season is just under a week away yet the St. Louis Blues weren’t done making moves. On Tuesday, the Blues traded defenseman Joel Edmundson and prospect Dominik Bokk to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Justin Faulk. Not only did the Blues trade for him, but they also inked him to a seven-year deal worth $45.5M. The Stanley Cup Champions added to an area of need before the season. This gives the Blues one of the best defensive pairings in all of Hockey.
The St. Louis Blues Add Justin Faulk
The Blues come into the season not having a clear need except for one area, the power-play. The Blues added Marc Savard as an assistant coach to help out the power-play. Many thought the power play would get better with the addition of Savard but they were still missing something. General manager Doug Armstrong saw it as well and he acted fast. He traded for Justin Faulk to help out in the special team’s department. This is huge for a Blues team who is still looking to compete for another Stanley Cup.
Faulk is a 6 foot, 215-pound skilled defenseman. He was drafted 37th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He has played eight seasons and a total of 559 games, all with the Hurricanes. In his career, he has scored 85 goals and added 173 assists for a total of 258 points. His best season came in the 2014-15 season. That year, he played all 82 games and tallied 15 goals with 35 assists. The most goals he has scored in a season was 17 in 2016-17 while playing 75 games. He has been selected to three All-Star games. He made it three years in a row from 2015 to 2017. Last season was the only season he has made it to the playoffs. He averaged 23:16 minutes of ice time in his career. He has been an important part of Carolina for a long time and now a fan favorite will no longer be there.
Faulk played in all 82 games last season including all 15 playoff games. He had 11 goals with 24 assists in the regular season and had a goal with seven assists in last year’s playoffs. Faulk averaged 22:25 minutes of ice time last season. He has always been a player to log big minutes in his career.
The Blues struggled on the power-play, especially in the playoffs. Even though the Blues finished in the top ten last season on the power-play for the regular season, it didn’t look good at key points in the season. They finished the regular season with a power-play percentage of 21.1. In the playoffs, the Blues had a percentage of 16.3 which was one of the worst in the playoffs. At times, the Blues struggled so much that they gave up multiple short-handed goals and fans feared to go on the power-play.
Adding Faulk should help the power-play in many ways. Last season, he had six goals and four assists on the power-play. He has taken a lot of shots and isn’t afraid to put the puck on net. He has been a power-play quarterback in Carolina his whole career. The Hurricanes power-play hasn’t been good but if one guy did good while on it, it was Faulk.
Going All In
If this proves anything, Armstrong and the Blues have intentions on hoisting the cup yet again and for years to come. They got better just before the season. The Blues have one of the best defensive groups in the league and they have a lot of depth on this team. Like superstar Vladimir Tarasenko said, “One isn’t enough.”
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