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Burns Yet Another Good-Bye for Sharks Fans



Credit: San Jose Sharks

Brent Burns never liked talking during morning skates, but even he couldn’t ignore the magnitude of his return to SAP Center tonight.

Burns starred for the San Jose Sharks from 2011 to 2022. Along the way, Burnzie became a Mt. Rushmore Sharks legend, joining the likes of Jumbo, Patty, and Pavs.

His time in teal, however, ended this past summer, when the Sharks traded Burns and Lane Pederson to the visiting Carolina Hurricanes for a conditional 2023 third-round draft pick, Steven Lorentz, and Eetu Makiniemi.

“The way I would describe him is he’s walking out of practice, he’s looking at his watch, and it’s 12:43. He’s got to be at home eating at 1:07,” San Jose Sharks radio play-by-play announcer Dan Rusanowsky told San Jose Hockey Now in an outtake from my Burns’ oral history today. “I just think he’s very routinized in the way that he does things. It helps him feel like he’s prepared for the game.”

From Snakes to Machetes, Everybody’s Got a Different Brent Burns Story (+)

Burns, however, broke routine to chat with San Jose media this afternoon. Of course, the larger moment is not lost on him.

“Weird, I think, is the right word. It’s been such a great place for me and my family for a long time. Just coming in [to SAP Center for morning skate], I didn’t really know where to go today. Where to get dressed, just everything’s different. So weird is just a word, but it’s awesome,” he reflected.

When pressed to point out a couple San Jose Sharks memories – I’m sure he could’ve rattled off hours of recollections – Burns mentioned, to our great entertainment, “Walking shirtless with Jumbo in Pittsburgh…I signed a couple ESPN Body issues the other day, I was like eww…when Hertl scored four goals.”

He also cited what might be considered the smaller moments, but clearly meaningful to him, like the courage that Logan Couture showed blocking all kinds of shots, his regular chats with equipment manager Mike Aldrich and director of hockey administration Rosemary Tebaldi.

For so long, the San Jose Sharks and Brent Burns were a match in hockey heaven. This is where Burns because a superstar and burnished his Hall of Fame credentials. This is where Burns and company led the franchise to their lone Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016.

“Starting with Doug [Wilson] and Todd [McLellan] at the time, Jumbo, Patty, Pavs, Cooch, these guys really helped so many ways on and off the ice,” Burns noted, before emphasizing, “When you play with a guy like Jumbo that is a pretty unique guy himself, and obviously, he’s at such an elite level, that allows everybody else to be themselves.”

Burns described this experience of coming back to San Jose as “weird,” but of course, the Wookie may as well have been talking about a weird, wacky, and really successful period of Sharks history that was highlighted by characters like him and Joe Thornton, but also equally glued together by talented straight men like Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski.

To no surprise, Burns got together with Thornton for dinner last night. He’ll hang out with the current Sharks when they visit Carolina in January.

So it’s not goodbye for Burns. But for San Jose Sharks fans, this has been happening too often lately.

Pavelski in green, Thornton in blue, Marleau’s fade to black, and now, Burns in red.

Even Wilson, the architect of this strange and wonderful era of hockey history, will be sent off tomorrow with an Appreciation Night against the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s San Jose Hockey Now’s understanding that because of travel plans, Wilson will not be in the building tonight.

It’s another good-bye for Sharks fans, who are ready to start saying hello again.

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