The San Jose Sharks made a statement in a big way today, acquiring the number two defenseman they have long been looking for.
Brent Burns, a standout 26 year old offensive defenseman from the Minnesota Wild, was acquired in exchange for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and a first round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The former first round pick scored 17 goals and 29 assists last season and will be immediately slotted onto the first power play unit alongside Dan Boyle.
Burns has one year remaining on a contract that will count for $3.5 MM against the cap next season-- next offseason he will be an unrestricted free agent. Reports that contract talks had stalled with Minnesota contributed to the trade today of course, along with the fact that the Wild will receive two promising offensive talents in Setoguchi and Coyle as they attempt to shore up their depth on the forward front.
There is no doubt that San Jose is a better team today than they were yesterday, despite the high price being paid for a player that only has a year remaining on his contract. The Sharks greatest need this offseason was a number two defenseman, and Burns fulfills that need beyond any shadow of a doubt.
More to come later tonight.