Hurricanes get Brent Burns from Sharks for blue-line boost

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes are betting that trading for veteran defenseman Brent Burns will help a regular playoff team make an even deeper postseason push.

The Hurricanes acquired the former Norris Trophy winner from San Jose on Wednesday as the NHL opened its free-agency period. The team also got forward Lane Pederson from the Sharks in exchange for forward Steven Lorentz, goaltender prospect Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional third-round pick for next year.

“Since it’s been announced, eight or nine of our current players have already texted me saying, ‘Wow, they can’t believe we got this guy,’“ Carolina president and general manager Don Waddell said. “That’s always a positive sign.”

The Sharks will retain 34% of the remaining salary and cap hit for the 37-year-old Burns, the Norris winner in 2017 as the league’s top defenseman. That would reduce Burns’ cap hit in Carolina to around $5.3 million for each of his three remaining contract years.

Burns, who waived a no-trade clause for the deal, bolsters Carolina’s blue line after the Hurricanes sent Tony DeAngelo to Philadelphia for three draft picks last week following his one-year stay with the team.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Burns is set to join veterans Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei in the Hurricanes’ top defensive pairings while also providing help on the power play, an area where DeAngelo thrived last season.

“I’m coming to a time where winning and having a chance to win it all is really all that matters right now,” Burns said. “I’ve chased the boys in red and black around the ice there for a while. … It’s a great, great team that is competing for a championship every year.”

The Hurricanes have made the playoffs for four straight seasons after a nine-year drought. They have won division titles in each of the past two years, yet haven’t won more than one series since an unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2019.

The New York Rangers ousted the Hurricanes in late May, ending a postseason that saw Carolina fail to win a road game in two seven-game series despite posting the NHL’s third-best regular-season record.

Burns is an 18-year NHL veteran, spending his first seven seasons in Minnesota and the past 11 seasons with the Sharks. He has appeared in 679 straight games dating to the 2013-14 season, while his 15 career overtime goals are the most by a defenseman in league history.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (88) plays against the Dallas Stars during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Saturday, April 16, 2022. A person with knowledge of the deal says the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Burns from the San Jose Sharks, and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, because the deal had not been finalized.

“You always look (at) age, but everybody ages differently,” Waddell said. “And this is a big man that has played a lot of minutes and been very durable through his career. So we think he’s got at least three more real good years in him as he reaches the age of 40.”

Burns’ training routines have helped him maintain his effectiveness during long shifts. He’s averaged 25:35 of ice time over the past five regular seasons to rank second among all NHL skaters, trailing only Los Angeles King defenseman Drew Doughty.

“I’m excited about coming to a new place where some of my (training) habits I do are probably not the best anymore,” Burns said. “I want to see a new group of people, what they do, what another team does. I’m excited about all that and just fitting in and helping.”

The 6-0, 192-pound Pederson, 24, has one goal and five assists in 44 career NHL games.

The Sharks acquired the 26-year-old Lorentz, who spent the playoffs as a fourth-liner or healthy scratch. He has 10 goals and 11 assists in 112 career games with Carolina dating to 2020.


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