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Brent Burns era over in San Jose
Sharks send defenseman to Carolina
7/13/2022 - By Mike Lee

The Brent Burns era in San Jose is done. After spending the last 11 seasons in the South Bay, the eccentric defenseman was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, along with Lane Pederson in exchange for centerman Steven Lorentz, goaltender Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 3rd round draft pick on Wednesday. The Sharks made the move largely to rid themselves of Burns contract, although they will retain 33% of the remaining $24 million due to the defenseman.

The burly defenseman played in 798 games for the Sharks which ranks 6th all time for the franchise. He rarely missed games, playing in every regular season game for San Jose the last 8 seasons. He missed 27 of 830 possible regular season games during his tenure.

When he was acquired from the Minnesota Wild in the summer of 2011, the Sharks looked poised to make real runs at the Stanley Cup. San Jose only reached the Stanley Cup Finals once during his Sharks career.

Burns big shot worked well with teammates like Joe Pavelski who was adept at redirecting pucks, but when Pavelski was not retained, the defenseman's offensive productivity began to falter. Opposing teams seemingly excelled at scoring whenever Burns was on the ice, fueling debates that he should be move to an position on offense.

Only former Sharks head coach Todd McClellan dabbled in Burns playing on offense, but it was a short lived experiment. After Erik Karlsson was acquired in 2018, San Jose were setup with a pair of former Norris Trophy winners that should have netted San Jose lots of wins. The economics of today's NHL said otherwise. Both contracts handcuffed the Sharks and when the productivity of aging veterans like Thornton and Patrick Marleau started to slip, the losses started to mount.

In exchange for Burns and Lane Pederson, the Sharks were able to rid themselves of the big dollars that prevent them from signing mid tier players that their roster desperately needs. San Jose will eat $2.72 million in cap space, but they clear $5.28 million in each of the next three seasons.

Lorentz played in his first full season for the Hurricanes last season, playing in 67 games but he is a restricted free agent. Makiniemi is a prospect who made the jump to North America last season, playing in 14 games for the Chicago Wolves (AHL). Both will likely be Barracuda regulars this coming season.

Pederson was not likely to last in San Jose. He played in 29 games for San Jose last year after he was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes last summer for a 4th round draft pick.

In other moves, San Jose signed forwards Oskar Lindblom, Nico Sturm, Andrew Agozzino, Markus Nutivaara, and defenseman Matt Benning.


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