The St. Louis Blues made a big move ahead of the 2019-20 season, trading for Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk and subsequently signing him to a seven-year, $45.5 million contract extension.
The defending Stanley Cup champions sent prospect Dominik Bokk, defenseman Joel Edmundson and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Hurricanes. Along with Faulk, the Canes sent the Blues a 2020 fifth-round pick.
"The team's in a position right now where they're trying to win and keep that success going,'' Faulk said on a conference call. "You never know what the future's going to be. ... You just know who's on the team today, and you like the team and you just have to believe in the people running the team that they're going to do their best to keep that success happening, and hopefully for a long time.''
There had been monthslong speculation that the Hurricanes were working a deal for Faulk, a 27-year-old three-time All Star. The Canes have a surplus of capable defensemen, Faulk was in the final year of his deal and it didn't appear Carolina would sign him to an extension.
"We got to the point where we could have either kept Justin and ride it out, try to continue to sign him, or we felt at this point we were getting good value and we should make the decision to move on,'' Carolina general manager Don Waddell said.
Last season, Faulk served as an alternate captain for the Hurricanes, who became a postseason darling after snapping a nine-year playoff drought and making it to the Eastern Conference finals.
Earlier this month, the Canes had talked to the Anaheim Ducks about a Faulk trade, but the deal fell apart. It was unclear if Faulk was willing to sign a contract extension with the Ducks.
"We are excited to add Justin to our core group for the next eight years," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. "He is a top-four defenseman who averages over 23 minutes a game and we are confident he will be a strong addition to our club."
Faulk will earn $4.83 million this season on the final year of his deal; his next contract carries a $6.5 million average annual value. He is signed through 2026-27 -- four more years than any other player on the Blues roster.
Over the past five seasons, Faulk ranks seventh among NHL defensemen in goals and fourth in power-play goals.
Edmundson, 26, appeared in 64 games with the Blues last season. He had two goals and 11 points. He appeared in 22 playoff games for the Blues as the franchise won its first Stanley Cup. Edmundson has a $3.1 million cap hit and will become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Bokk, 19, was the Blues' first-round pick -- 25th overall -- in the 2018 NHL draft. The Germany native had eight goals and 23 points with Vaxjo of the Swedish Hockey League last year. Bokk is playing with Rogle BK Angelholm this season. Bokk was considered one of St. Louis' top prospects.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.