Brent Burns signs monster eight-year, $64 million extension

Burns

The San Jose Sharks have signed defenseman Brent Burns to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension. The deal carries an $8 million cap hit and will keep Burns signed through the 2024-2025 season.

The 31-year-old defenseman was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

This deal should come as no surprise to anyone in the hockey world. Burns has evolved into one of the most dynamic and complete defensemen in the league and is coming off a remarkable campaign. He set career highs in goals (27), assists (48), points (75), power-play points (30) and shots on goal (353) in 82 games last season. Burns was a finalist for the Norris Trophy as defenseman of the year.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound defenseman known for his Chewbacca-like beard and toothless smile has become not only one of the most dominant defensemen in the game, but also a truly vital member of the Sharks team.

In fact, he played a large role in the Sharks’ success last season as San Jose reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. Burns scored seven goals and 24 points in 24 postseason games, finishing in the top three on the team in goals, assists (17), points, power-play goals (4), power-play points (10) and shots on goal (77). The Sharks eventually lost in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This is an excellent deal for both sides.

For Burns, he will become the second-highest paid defenseman in the league behind only P.K. Subban; Burns’ cap hit of $8 million will rank 15th overall in the entire NHL.

For the Sharks, the team is locking up an irreplaceable member of a strong team that will look to remain a Stanley Cup contender for many years. Though he will be the highest-paid player on the team, his production and leadership have proven that he is worth every penny. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson believes just that.

“Brent is one the most dynamic players in the National Hockey League and we’re very excited to get this deal done,” Wilson said. “He has worked extremely hard to be an elite defenseman and at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, his abilities on this ice are unique and rare.”

Burns is equally enthusiastic.

“This is a great group and we had a special year [in 2015-16] and it’s exciting to build on that,” Burns told the Sharks website. “This is a great place to come and play, and when you’re having fun it’s easier to work. I don’t even think of it as coming to work; the people here are great and they love their Sharks. We had a taste of [it] last year (reaching the Stanley Cup Final) and now you just want to win, so it’s exciting.”

Burns has 148 goals and 439 points in 816 career regular-season games with the Sharks and Wild. He has 12 goals and 36 points in 58 career postseason games with San Jose and Minnesota.

San Jose is 10-8-1 so far this season, good enough for second place in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference. Burns has seven goals and 16 points through 19 games.
 

Featured Image Credit: Josie Lepe-Bay Area News Group