In 2019, Justin Faulk was a man on the move. He had been in Carolina by his name in the annual rumor mill for nine years. Faulk has been swapped by fans throughout the NHL to Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Boston, Minnesota …
Now, the full details of this deal have never been released, so we only know parts of what went on. But what we do know is that there were some strong connections at the time that Carolina was trying to pry Ondrej Kase out of the heart of Orange County. Whether or not this rumor caught on varies, but Carolina certainly had a long-term interest in the Czech winger.
We know Faulk ended up being moved to St. Louis in exchange for Joel Edmundson, Dominik Bokk, and an exchange of draft picks in the late round. Bokk is doing pretty well and Edmundson has been postponed for an extra pick, but what could have happened if the deal with Anaheim hadn’t gone down? What could have happened to Ondrej Kase?
Kase was an analytical darling back then. He still has many facets of his game that are underestimated, but he finds it difficult to show them off. Not because he’s not a good player, but because Kase has a terrible injury record. His concussion made it incredibly difficult to expect anything serious from him, and that’s why he signed this free agency in Toronto for $ 1.25 million.
In Carolina, Kase could have started his career in ice hockey if he had the ability to stay healthy. It could have been a great addition to the top 6. It’s important to remember that Kase has a lot of talent. He has scored 20 goals and 38 points in 66 games. It’s not a flash in the pan player.
Kase’s main problem is that … those 66 games are the most he has ever played in any NHL season. He’s not exactly questioning the all-time Ironman streak record. But healthy cheese could easily score a constant 20 goals and it improves the depth of the team. It’s an interesting hypothetical scenario. If Kase had become a hurricane, would his injury problems have persisted? It’s a question we’ll never know the answer to.
It also means that Edmundson is never a hurricane and that the 2020 deadline in which Brady Skjei became a Carolina hurricane may be very different from the deadline we’ve seen in reality. It’s an interesting situation and a fun topic to talk about when we’re only 18 days from the start of a new NHL season.
Question to Cardiac Cane readers: What do you think would have happened if Ondrej Kase had become a member of the organization?