Aug 1, 2011, 12:34 PM EDT
Brent Burns has yet to play a game in a Sharks uniform yet, but he’s already gotten a massive vote of confidence from GM Doug Wilson.
The Sharks have given Burns a five-year contract extension to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer. According to sources at CSNBayArea.com, Burns’ deal is worth $28.8 million which works out to a salary cap hit of $5.76 million per year. For Burns, that works out to be a raise of $2.26 million per year compared to his current deal.
According to CapGeek, the added cap hit for Burns won’t do much to hurt their ability to get things done next season cap-wise as the Sharks don’t have many unrestricted free agents to worry about (Torrey Mitchell the lone serious one) and will have to get Logan Couture and Justin Braun re-signed as restricted free agents.
Burns was acquired from the Minnesota Wild during the NHL Draft this summer in a surprising deal that saw the Sharks send Devin Setoguchi and prospect Charlie Coyle along with a first round pick for Burns. Getting Burns to be their top defenseman in San Jose gives them a guy who can play effectively well on both sides of the ice as he had a breakout season last year with 17 goals and 29 assists for the Wild. With the Sharks, he’ll drop in and become part of a great top four with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Dan Boyle, and Douglas Murray. With those four players eating up most of the minutes, the Sharks will be a lot stronger from the blue line.
Of course, how this deal shapes up to establish the market for other players is another story and for Nashville’s Shea Weber, who’s set to go to arbitration tomorrow, his agents have another contract they can point at towards Predators management to say they’d like to have something done like that. Most would judge Weber to be a better defenseman than Burns so having that contract comparison to make when negotiating helps Weber, perhaps, make even more money.
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