Toronto Maple Leafs: Trade Targeting Defensemen Justin Faulk

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 19: Justin Faulk /

Okay, I guess I’m back with another Toronto Maple Leafs trade targeting piece.

Either you’re sick of this series or you want to read my thoughts on who I think the Toronto Maple Leafs should or may target in a trade.

I’m hoping for the latter of the two, but wouldn’t judge if it were the former.

Anyways, yes, Justin Faulk is the focal point in this article.

I’ve tried to stay clear of the whole Carolina Hurricanes being perfect trade partners with the Leafs debate, but it’s now caught up to me.

That being said, we’re going to explore the idea, but before we get to Faulk, I’m going to debunk the Brett Pesce conversation.

Brett Pesce Talk

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Here’s a quick note on the right handed defender.

Pesce still has one contract friendly year left on his entry level contract and he’s already been signed to a lengthy extension.

The Hurricanes and Pesce agreed to terms on August 1, 2017, which locks him up for six years at $4.025 million per season.

That was just days ago.

They view Pesce as a long-term player, a key piece to their future success, so if you want any indication that they won’t part ways with him, then look no further.

In my mind, Pesce is 100% off the table.

Plus, he’s 22-years-old and is already a stud.

This leads us into why Faulk may be a more suitable candidate.

Justin Faulk

Now, the Faulk idea is a little more intriguing to me for a few reasons.

  1. He’s only 25 years old
  2. Right handed
  3. 6’0″ tall and 215 lb
  4. Is capable of 50+ points

To summarize, he’s a young right handed defenseman that plays a smart game of hockey, is big bodied and can serve in a shutdown role while producing points.

I know he hasn’t cracked 50 points yet, but his career best of 49 is more than reassuring and if you factor in the team he’s played for, that’s pretty impressive.

Nonetheless, Faulk is an impressive defender, one I’ve loved watching with the puck ever since he started playing in the NHL.

I have no reservations that he’d be more than perfect to slot into this young Leafs team and help lead them to further success.

He fits the culture well and the only two changes that would need to be taken care of are in regards to the length of his hair and number 27.

Remember that the Leafs retired it to honor the great, Frank Mahovlich and Darryl Sittler.

Easy fix, right?

A Money Game

Another reason that the Hurricanes might listen to offers on Faulk is that Noah Hanifin is in need of a new contract after this upcoming season.

I highly doubt they want that much money tied up on defense.

Take a look at their cap situation here.

I won’t even venture into the pending restricted free agent status of Klas Dahlbeck or even Trevor van Riemsdyk.

That’s just for the sake of keeping things simple.

But when you take the big the three, Faulk, Pesce and Jaccob Slavin, you have $14,158,333 tied up from the 2018-19 season until the 2020-21 season, in defenders alone.

Actually, we’ll just assume that van Riemsdyk will receive a pretty sizeable increase in pay, not to the same extent, though, so there’s even more.

Well, that’s a lot of money for a defensive core, especially if they try and resign Faulk at the end of his contract.

That’s why I think he’s the most intriguing piece to be shown the door.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

I’m sorry for the cheesy movie reference.

However, if you haven’t picked up on it so far, I like to reference things, so respectively deal with it.

Yes, James van Riemsdyk is the older brother of Trevor and you can bet they’d welcome a chance to play together.

That may be the most interesting piece in the whole conversation, but I’ll stick with what I’ve previously said about James.

He doesn’t have as high of a value in this market as many of us think.

Maybe something can be arranged because he would fit in perfectly with this growing Hurricanes team.

Next: Jersey Numbers, Then & Now

I don’t know, something to keep an eye on going forward, but those are my thoughts.