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Sharks' Burns eager to face former club

Wednesday, 11.09.2011 / 7:26 PM / NHL Insider

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Sharks' Burns eager to face former club
Brett Burns, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi will have no trouble recognizing their opponents Thursday night when the Minnesota Wild visit San Jose.
Brett Burns, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi will have no trouble recognizing their opponents Thursday night when the Minnesota Wild visit San Jose.

Burns was a member of the Wild until being dealt to San Jose on June 24 for a package of players that included Setoguchi. Ten days later, Heatley went from San Jose to Minnesota for Martin Havlat in a one-for-one swap.

The Wild won their fifth in a row by winning 3-0 in Calgary on Tuesday, then flew to San Jose and worked out there on Wednesday. At 8-3-3, they are second to Edmonton in the Northwest Division; the Sharks, 8-4-1 after Monday's 4-2 win against Los Angeles, are second in the Pacific.

Burns, for one, is eager for a chance to face the team with which he spent eight seasons after being drafted in the first round in 2003.

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"I want them to lose every game," Burns told the media after the Sharks' practice. "You think I want them to do well?"

"I've been watching how they've been doing, hoping that they would lose every game," he continued. "You have to be competitive to reach this level and I'm a pretty intense guy. And when a team doesn't want you, you sure don't want them to go 82-0.

"I have a lot of friends there, and you want them to score six goals and lose."

Burns said he's not bitter -- he still has a house in Minnesota and keeps in touch with several former teammates and friends.

"I like the city and the people I met there," he said, "but I don't know if you have a special place in your heart for the team anymore. Obviously, it was a huge part of my life and I loved being there, and at the time I wanted to be there for the rest of my career."

The trade was the first of Burns' career. Changing teams was a little more familiar to Havlat, who is with his fourth NHL club.

"It's always a little different when you're playing the team you used to play for and you know all the people there," Havlat told CSNBayArea.com, citing defenseman Marek Zidlicky as one of his closest friends with the Wild. "We'll see how it goes.

"We've started well, and they've started well, too. Everybody's happy so far."

Heatley, who spent two seasons with the Sharks after being acquired from Ottawa in 2009, is also eager to face his former teammates.

"Good memories here. I've seen some people already, trainers and staff, and it'll be fun to play tomorrow," he told the San Jose Mercury-News. "When you like a city and you like your teammates, it's always tough to leave … but that's the nature of the business."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he isn't surprised that both teams have benefitted from the trades.

"That's how trades should work out. The days of fleecing some of these general managers doesn't exist," he told the media. "They are bright, they do their homework and have really good staffs. The business part of it keeps it very honest."
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