Revisiting The Brent Burns Trade
Sometimes it’s good to look back on trades that changed history. The Sharks might be down in the dumps but they should still celebrate the trade that brought Brent Burns to San Jose. Burns never hoisted a Stanley Cup in San Jose but he will still go down as one of the most iconic players in franchise history. Burns has some tread left on the tires but now feels like a good time to revisit the infamous trade.
On June 24, 2011, the Wild and Sharks made a monumental trade during the middle of the 2011 NHL Draft. Minnesota sent Burns and a 2012 second round pick to San Jose for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and a 2011 first round pick. It’s a trade the Wild would love to have back.
Setoguchi, a first round pick in 2005, looked like a consistent goal scorer in the middle of his prime. Coyle was a first rounder the year before showing major promise. Zack Phillips was taken with the first rounder that the Sharks sent them. We can say now the Wild went 0-3.
Setoguchi played just two years in Minnesota scoring 32 goals and 31 assists in 117 games. Setoguchi regressed and sort of bounced around the NHL, AHL and Europe eventually retiring in 2018.
Coyle turned into a third liner but was eventually traded to Boston. Ryan Donato was the main piece Boston sent back who is no longer on the Wild roster.
Phillips did exactly nothing. Seriously… nothing.
Burns became an instant hit with the Sharks. Burns put up an 83 point season in 2018-19. He won the Norris trophy in 2007. Burns is also a six time All-Star and signed a massive 8-year, $64 million contract extension that keeps him in NorCal until 2025.
Of course, one could say that maybe Burns never develops into the player he became if the trade never happens. Burns was originally drafted as a forward and became a defensemen after being drafted. There was always going to be a learning curve. However, Burns never really exploded until Pete DeBoer became a coach with the Sharks and really unlocked his skill set. DeBoer, the current head coach of the Golden Knights, is probably responsible for helping Burns turn into the player he became.
It’s one of the worst trades in Minnesota Wild history. Chuck Fletcher is not getting any free beers in Minnesota any time soon. Burns became a star and Minnesota was left with virtually nothing. If the Sharks had won a Cup, this trade would be remembered as way more painful for Wild fans.
Yes, the Sharks are littered with bad contracts (including Burns current deal). The fact remains that Burns was a fantastic player for a long, long time. Burns probably never wins a Cup with Minnesota either but it would have been fun to wonder what sort of team they could have put together.