The San Jose Sharks have locked up their best defenseman, and a guy who figures to be their next franchise player, Brent Burns.
Coming off the heels of their first ever Stanley Cup Finals appearance, the San Jose Sharks are doing everything they can to keep the band together. One of their key pieces during that Cup run was Brent Burns. He finished third in Norris voting last year and averaged a point per game in the playoffs.
Burns was set to become a free agent at the end of this year. But rather than drag it out and keep the fan bases of 29 other teams in suspense, the two sides agreed to a massive payday:
This is an outstanding move for the Sharks, and one that no Sharks fan will be saying “Boo-urns” over. Burns is their anchor on defense, and losing him would’ve been too big of a hole to fill. He’s a late bloomer, coming off of his best season yet, and he’ll figure to give them plenty of productive seasons despite being 31 years old.
Burns spent the first part of his career in Minnesota, arriving in San Jose via trade. He has become an excellent teammate, particularly with Joe Thornton. But with Jumbo Joe approaching the twilight of his career, it’s going to become Burns’ turn to take up the mantle as the franchise player in San Jose.
As far as defensemen go, you can hardly find one as versatile as Brent Burns. He was drafted as a forward but never scored more than 46 points in a season with Minnesota. Once he came to San Jose, he played regular minutes at both right wing and defense, which led to him putting up 60 and 75-point efforts in his last two seasons.
If Burns comes anywhere close to his heroics last season, the Sharks will know they got a great return on investment. Coming so close to winning the Stanley Cup last year isn’t something that goes away either, so he’ll be extremely motivated to help the Sharks accomplish that goal.