Though several reports have come out that there is trade on the table between the Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurricanes revolving around Justin Faulk, the deal still hasn’t been finalized thanks to a no-trade clause and extension talks. An extension hasn’t yet been reached, the Hurricanes defender can block a deal to Anaheim if he chooses, and according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic other teams have now increased their interest in trying and add the offensive-minded Faulk. Those teams include ones that would not require Faulk to waive his 15-team no-trade clause, though LeBrun doesn’t give any indication of who they may be.
With training camp just a few days from opening up across the league, Faulk has become the most talked about non-RFA around. His services would certainly help a number of teams in the league, but currently exists as a pure rental that is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet believes that Faulk would be targeting $6.5-7MM per season on any extension, though he also wrote earlier today that the Ducks “appear willing to make the move without any long-term security at this time.”
At just 27-years old, Faulk represents the kind of player who would normally be extremely coveted on the open market. If he were an unrestricted free agent today, you can bet a number of teams would be knocking on his door trying to bring him in on a long-term deal, which makes the interest in him on the trade market understandable. If a team can acquire him for a reasonable cost a year early and extend him to a contract they believe he’s worth, they don’t have to fight the entire market next summer. That reasonable cost is the biggest question however, as there have been reports that Ondrej Kase would be involved in the deal should the Ducks get it done.
If that’s the kind of asset the Hurricanes would receive, it makes a lot of sense for them to move on from the puck-moving defenseman. Carolina recently added Jake Gardiner who, while being the other handedness, carries a lot of similarities to Faulk in regards to playstyle. They also have one of the deepest defensive units in the league, and could probably remove two names given that Haydn Fleury and Jake Bean look ready to take on increased minutes.
The Hurricanes also have to shed some salary before the season starts, though that could be accomplished in other ways if necessary. The team currently sits at just over $83MM in projected salaries for the 2019-20 season, though that takes 24 players into account, more than you can carry at any one time.