Could Brent Burns be playing somewhere else besides San Jose next year?
It makes sense: Burns is still a high-end defenseman, he’s 37, and the San Jose Sharks are three years and running out of the playoffs.
In short, if Brent Burns wants to cap his Hall of Fame career with a Stanley Cup, it’s probably not happening in San Jose.
If Burns and the Sharks decide to go in different directions, he’ll have a big say in where he goes. The 2017 Norris Trophy winner has a three-team trade clause, meaning the Sharks can send him to three destinations of his choice. A trade anywhere else would require his consent.
Burns didn’t exactly quash the notion of moving on in his May exit interview, when I asked him if he was thinking about chasing a Stanley Cup elsewhere: “San Jose has been a special place for us, for our family.
“It’s definitely tough when you lose three years, not making the playoffs. I think everybody feels that way, whether they’re young or older.
“At the end of the day, that’s what we all play for. I’ve been in the league long enough to know that, when you’re doing these meetings at this time, there’s a lot of changes that happen, that need to happen.
“A lot of changes are going to happen here. When you’re looking for a new general manager, there’s a lot of things on the table. So I don’t know.
“I’m going to be staring at a squat rack in a little bit here and trying to get my head wrapped around that.”
So where could Brent Burns get dealt this summer?
I looked at organizations that fancy themselves Cup contenders, who might be able to absorb all or most of Burns’s remaining three years and $8 million dollar Annual Average Value, and could use an upgrade at defense.
I also spoke with reporters who cover the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, and Washington Capitals to get their thoughts.
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