Since the Carolina Hurricanes have gone ahead and re-signed defenseman Justin Faulk to a gigantic contract extension, fans should be justified in raising at least part of an eyebrow.
At six years and $29 million, this is a big deal for Faulk and for the Hurricanes. It shows a commitment to him as a player and sends a clear message as to who it is they’d like to have anchoring the defense. While Faulk has his issues and plenty of them, there are honestly worse things that could happen.
While Faulk has a habit of taking completely idiotic penalties and often forgetting how the game of hockey is played, he can be an able defenseman and can really only continue to improve with the proper situation.
Faulk aside, this sends a cloudy message from the Hurricanes moving forward.
The Hurricanes are missing the NHL playoffs yet again this season and are a house in disorder. Hurricanes GM and condemned prisoner Jim Rutherford loves to make moves designed to “plan for the future.” With Rome burning all around him, Rutherford is continuing to fiddle with this re-signing. It’s a smart move, but it’s interesting that it wasn’t preceded by anything smarter.
For Rutherford to mess around for an entire season, claim to be shaking things up and then do nothing of the sort shows that he is not committed to the Hurricanes’ success. However, for him to then turn around and sign Faulk to a huge deal sends a mixed message.
Re-signing Faulk is very unlikely to backfire. The Hurricanes’ luck on big-time re-signings is not good. Eric Staal has mostly panned out, but Cam Ward‘s contract was the kiss of death, and Tim Gleason was a bigger mistake than Van Halen firing David Lee Roth. With the team only 1-for-3 on re-signs, it’s a toss-up as to how this will play out for the team. However, it’s a safe bet that Faulk can’t collapse as badly as Ward and Gleason.
Faulk is not that horrible of a defenseman. In all likelihood, this will play out positively in the long run. He got way more money than he should have, but maybe his agent is that good. It’s not Faulk who raises the concern; it’s Rutherford and the inconsistency of his actions — and inactions.