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Burns' comfort in San Jose led to extension

Monday, 08.01.2011 / 2:39 PM / 2011 Offseason News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Burns' comfort in San Jose led to extension
A family trip to San Jose this summer made signing a contract extension with his new club one of the easiest decisions the offensive-minded defenseman has ever made.
Brent Burns' family trip to San Jose this summer made signing a contract extension with his new club one of the easiest decisions he's ever made.

Without ever having played a game in Sharks' teal, Burns signed on to play with the club through the 2016-17 season by autographing his name onto a five-year contract extension that is reportedly worth $28.8 million. Burns still has one year and $3.55 million remaining on the four-year contract he signed with the Minnesota Wild in 2007, so his new contract won't kick in until the 2012-13 season.

The Sharks acquired Burns from the Wild on June 24 in exchange for right wing Devin Setoguchi, prospect Charlie Coyle and a first-round draft pick.

"After the trade went through we went down to San Jose and it was awesome," Burns said on a conference call Monday. "The city was great and the organization was just unbelievable how they treated us. With that excitement building for our family, it really made getting traded for the first time easier. Having the chance to sign the extension, it was a no-brainer for us. We have a little bit of security for our family and now I can just focus on playing hockey."

While orchestrating the trade for Burns, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson had the contract extension in the back of his mind. In Wilson's view, giving up Setoguchi, a top prospect and a first-round pick for only one season with Burns would not have been a worthwhile risk.

"We're sitting here today not having to concern ourselves with that," Wilson said happily.

But Wilson also said Burns deserves the credit for allowing the deal to happen. He gave up his first chance at becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer when the options "would have been kind to him not only in dollars but in structure."

Burns, who is only 26, is coming off the best season of his career in which he established career highs in goals (17), assists (29), points (48), penalty minutes (98) and shots on goal (170). He has 183 points in 453 games over six seasons since debuting with the Wild in 2005-06.

He will earn $5.76 million per season under the new deal.

"(A contract extension) was a major priority and for it to happen this quickly, with this type of contract and structure, I can't thank Brent enough for being a good teammate and a good part of this organization," Wilson said. "His character and his makeup allowed us to get this extension, which really does work well for us now."

Burns' next move will be into a rental home in San Jose. Despite having the long-term security, Burns said he isn't in a rush to purchase a home because he still has to learn the area and figure out the best place to live.

A noted animal lover, Burns also said he won't be bringing his "zoo" to San Jose this year. Among other animals, Burns has a huge collection of snakes that will stay back in St. Paul, Minn. at least for the time being.

"This year we're going to keep it simple. Just go down, play hockey and enjoy a little bit of a different life for the year," Burns said. "I have a girl here that takes care of everything well. It's going to be a different move for us. It's going to be difficult trying to bring the cages and animals down without having a place to settle. We're going to take our time and we'll do it later if possible."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential