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Trade Burns? New Sharks GM Grier Doesn’t Shut Down Speculation



Credit: AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Is Brent Burns the next San Jose Sharks staple to leave the organization?

“I’ve heard there’s been quite a bit of interest,” Elliotte Friedman said on the 32 Thoughts Podcast this morning. “Several teams have called San Jose [to ask] what are we talking about here?”

Burns, 37, has three years left on his contract with an $8 million dollars Annual Average Value. He also has a three-team trade clause – that means there are just three places that the San Jose Sharks can move Burns to right now without his consent.

New Sharks GM Mike Grier hasn’t spoken with Burns yet, but it sounds like that conversation is coming soon.

“He’s been here a long time. He’s been a great Sharks player. I’ll let him kind of lead the way a little bit on that, go off his lead,” Grier said today. “As a former player myself, as you get older, you want to keep that competitive fire burning. And what keeps that burning is the chase for the Cup and winning.”

The Sharks are three years and running out of the playoffs.

“Depending on the conversation, if it is something where he says he wants to go somewhere and try and win, I get it,” the new GM shared. “We all play to win. We all play to lift that trophy. As you get older, you start to see the end of the line. I would understand if that’s the route he wants to go.”

Burns is still a very productive player: The all-situations defenseman led the NHL in overall minutes played last year and posted 54 points, leading all San Jose Sharks defenseman. The veteran is also durable, working on a 679 consecutive game streak.

Season Review: Burns Still Doing Exceptional Things

“If the Stars could make it work, [my source] could see a situation where Burns would end up there,” Friedman shared.

The Dallas Stars are about to lose UFA defenseman John Klingberg, and they also have familiar faces center Joe Pavelski and head coach Peter DeBoer to welcome Burns. The 6-foot-5 blueliner also calls Texas home in the off-season.

About a month ago, I speculated about sensible landing spots for Burns with beat reporters from many different NHL cities:

If Sharks Trade Burns, Where Would He Go?

Dallas was certainly on that list, and maybe the Carolina Hurricanes would make sense too? The Hurricanes just traded Tony DeAngelo to the Philadelphia Flyers, so they could probably use more offense on the back-end.

Burns’s contract will be an issue though: My guess is that the Sharks will have to retain some salary to make Dallas or Carolina or most places work. If the Stars had wanted to pay an offensive defenseman $8 million, they could’ve just kept Klingberg, and if the Canes wanted to keep DeAngelo, he just cost the Flyers two years and $5 million AAV.

All that said though, Burns’s contract is far more attractive than Erik Karlsson’s, which is why Burns has been a hot trade rumor this summer as opposed to Karlsson.

“I think they checked the market on Karlsson, I don’t think there was a lot there because of his contract,” Friedman said.

Karlsson, 31, has five years left on his contract with an $11.5 million AAV.

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