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San Jose Sharks

REACTION: Burns Traded; Sharks Sign Lindblom, Sturm, Nutivaara, Benning



Credit: AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

The San Jose Sharks had a busy first day of free agency.

In the morning, they traded franchise pillar Brent Burns, along with Lane Pederson, to the Carolina Hurricanes for fourth-line forward Steven Lorentz, goalie prospect Eetu Makiniemi, and a conditional 2023 third-round pick.

The Sharks agreed to retain 34 percent of the 37-year-old Burns’s remaining contract, creating about $5.3 million dollars of cap space in each of the next three years. The third-round pick is the worse of the Hurricanes’ two next year, Carolina and Philadelphia’s.

Burns is irreplaceable in the hearts of San Jose Sharks fans, and possibly, on the ice. The “Wookie” led Sharks defensemen with 54 points and all NHL skaters in minutes played this past season.

It’s not a great package, by any means, for a player of Burns’s stature and caliber, but you have to consider that the long-time Shark was ready to leave to chase a Stanley Cup, and his contract, considering his age, is a sizable risk for any team to take on.

The San Jose Sharks followed up by signing UFAs Oskar Lindblom (two years, $2.5 mil AAV), Nico Sturm (three years, $2 mil AAV), Markus Nutivaara (one year, $1.75 mil AAV), and Matt Benning (four years, $1.25 mil AAV).

The 25-year-old Lindblom is a puck-protecting third-line winger who is hoping to find his form from 2018-19, when he posted 17 goals. He’s got a little upside and can help you if he’s not scoring.

The 27-year-old Sturm is an excellent fourth-line center option who can help on the penalty kill. Sturm won the Stanley Cup this past season with the Colorado Avalanche.

Both Nutivaara and Benning promise to be NHL-caliber bottom-pairing defensemen, though they have very different styles of game. Nutivaara is a more cerebral puckmover and Benning is a highly competitive defender who keeps things simple.

It’s hard to say that the San Jose Sharks are better – you can’t trade your No. 1 blueliner and replace him with a handful of solid depth guys and say that. But Lindblom, Sturm, Nutivaara, Benning, and Lorentz, for that matter, are all true everyday NHL players, which is more than you can say, frankly, than the parade of rookies that the Sharks have trotted out in recent years.

If they can find a way to replace Burns’s production and minutes – a tall order, for sure – San Jose might be okay next year.

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Sad day. but it’s a push to the future. Look. Burns is one of the older players on the team and it just had to happen. Even though he produced last year, he’s too expensive for that age.
Flip side, maybe this allows Karlsson to breakout. I’ve always felt that these two were stepping on each other rather than compliment each other. While injury prone, he’s younger. .
Fingers crossed.

david barnard

hopefully they address their netminding situation, Simek, and perhaps KL on Day 2.


There were a lot of young guys on the roster last year, some of whom may have benefited from playing more in the AHL. I wonder if Grier is reversing the “injection of youth” from the last few years to give these guys a bit more time on an AHL team that actually has a chance at winning. Get Eklund and Bordeleau and Wiesblatt a pro season under their belts where they are actually contending for something. Bringing in some Marleau or Boyle types to help with their development might be better long term than just letting them get beat… Read more »


Class move by Grier to let Burns hold the keys on this move. Visions of DW.


#11 draft position next year because the goalies are too good to tank. Need to bring back martin Jones to fully tank for Bedard. 🙂


These contracts are awful. Getting next to nothing for Burns, only to spend all of that cap space on a bunch fourth line/third pair grinders with no offensive potential whatsoever, while overpaying every single one of them?

Last edited 27 days ago by Kristian
David Gotlieb

I don’t think today was a good day to making the sharks more competitive. However it’s a lot of good business decisions. A big contract needed to get off the books, burns wanted out and of the teams he would go to that is about the deal you could expect. A lot of competitive players were signed to cheap deals. None of these are going to really improve the sharks compared to who was available last season. But their effort will please some fans even as they lose. They still will be in the draft lotto which next year is… Read more »

david barnard

nobody got 5+. Benning was the longest term at 4 yrs (that 1 is strange i’ll grant you). we have Kniazev, Knyzhov, and Hatakka at LHD, so Nutivaara at 1 yr makes sense. we literally have no rising star prospect at RHD (not for the immediate future that is), so that mitigates the Benning signing some.

Last edited 27 days ago by david barnard

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