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Analyzing the Brent Burns trade

July 20, 2022, 7:51 PM ET [4 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The San Jose Sharks made a major trade last week, dealing defenseman Brent Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Along with Burns, the Sharks sent forward Lane Pederson to the Hurricanes, receiving forward Steven Lorentz, goalie Eetu Makiniemi and a 2023 third-round pick in exchange. The Sharks are also retaining 34 per cent of Burns’ salary.

In trading Burns, the Sharks lose their most important defenseman. He’s 37 years old but still produces at a great rate, with 10 goals and 54 points in 82 games this past season. While he can be prone to some tough defensive mistakes, he was also tasked with playing over 26 minutes per game, due to San Jose's lack of defensive depth. With a somewhat reduced role in Carolina where he isn’t consistently facing the toughest matchups, Burns can be a highly effective defenseman.

With Pederson, his one year with the Sharks didn’t go quite to plan. San Jose had dealt a fourth-round pick for him last summer and the forward managed just two assists in 29 NHL games. He also played 22 games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda and given he’ll be 25 years old next month, he’s not likely to be a full-time NHL player.

The return for Burns was really underwhelming though. It’s been obvious for a while that the Sharks needed to move out salary but considering how much money San Jose retained, it’s pretty surprising they couldn’t get more.

Lorentz is a serviceable fourth-line forward, who scored eight goals and 13 points in 67 games with Carolina. He adds a major physical presence and consistently forechecks hard but isn’t going to add much offense at all. He’s 26 years old and is a solid depth forward but won’t be a huge difference-maker.

With Makiniemi, he’s a promising goaltending prospect. At just 23 years old, Makiniemi posted a .922 save percentage in 14 games with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves this season. Carolina was able to deal Makiniemi due to their goaltending depth, between the tandem of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta, along with Pyotr Kochetkov, who’s just 23 years old as well and is knocking at the door for an NHL role. While Makiniemi does have potential though, last season’s work is still a fairly small sample size and we’ll have to see how he does with a larger AHL workload this coming season.

So while it’s an interesting move, this looks like a pretty big win for Carolina. Burns is still a high-end defenseman and the Sharks retained a ton of salary, with a pretty minimal return. They’re now faced with $2.72 million against the cap in each of the next three seasons, while the Hurricanes get Burns at an extremely favourable $5.28 million cap hit.

While shedding some salary was important and the Sharks do end up with a roster player, a decent prospect and a solid pick, the Hurricanes get a lot more value in Burns than the Sharks get from their return.


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