As terrific of a replacement as Krug may be for Pietrangelo, it’s still going to take a collective effort to fill his skates. In particular, St. Louis is going to need more from Justin Faulk this season.
Like, a lot more. The Blues acquired Faulk from the Carolina Hurricanes prior to last season and proceeded to sign him to a seven-year, $45.5-million contract extension. That happens to be identical to the deal they signed Krug to.
Faulk then proceeded to have the worst season of his career. Known as an offensive defenseman, he scored just five goals and 16 points in 69 games. He notched just one goal and three points on the power play, where he’d been such a weapon in Carolina.
It was an enormous drop in production for Faulk. Over the prior six seasons, he’d never scored fewer than 31 points, topping out at 49 in 2014-15.
That’s the kind of production the Blues were expecting when they acquired Faulk. Given that his massive seven-year extension is just now kicking it, they badly need him to get back to that kind of production, especially with Pietrangelo gone.