This week, Brent Burns picked up his family and headed west to California, beginning preparations on a new chapter in their lives.
“We came in Wednesday and we’re leaving Sunday,” Burns stated after a long day of house hunting. “Just getting to see the lay of the land and try to see where places are and where we’ll live next year. Trying to get a little bit of the comfort level for the family.”
The good news was Burns and his family liked what they saw on their initial trip to their new home.
“I got to meet a lot of people and from the first glance, it’s been great,” Burns began. “They’ve made this stress free and it’s been a great experience.”
Burns entire professional hockey career had been spent in the Twin Cities, but he is amped up to be playing for a title contender in San Jose. His brief time here has given him some insight into the Sharks organization.
“We’re super excited to come to a great city and a great team,” Burns said. “Everybody that we’ve met has been awesome, including the people in the city. It’s been a fun little trip for our family and we’re looking forward to coming back.”
Burns took some time to get acclimated with some new teammates during his stay, in addition to the front office staff.
“Patty and Boyler,” Burns said of the Sharks players who were around. “Obviously Todd and Doug.”
Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson handles the talent acquisitions for San Jose and leaves the coaching to bench boss Todd McLellan, but McLellan was an AHL coach of Burns and there is no doubt he provided his stamp of approval. The pair got to catch up a bit, although it’s not like they haven’t seen each other since their Houston days.
“I still see him once in a while when we would play the Sharks and we’d say hi,” Burns said. “It’s not as drastic of a time away as everybody would think.”
The new Shark even mixed in some business on the fact finding mission, learning training staff’s workout regime.
“I’ve been working out with Mike Potenza the last two days,” Burns said.
It wasn’t all business though.
“This was a pretty laid back trip,” Burns said. “We’ve been to some nice dinners. Went to a great spot in Los Gatos and had a nice dinner at Santana Row. It’s a great area. It’s been a good little family vacation.”
Like all new Sharks players, Burns was definitely attracted to sun shining with no humidity paired with it.
“It’s unbelievable weather,” Burns said. “That’s the first thing you notice, and there are beautiful views.”
The views include the mountains, which will play into another specialty for Burns.
“I’m a huge biker,” Burns noted. “I can’t wait to get my bikes down here. I do both (mountain and road). I played with (Owen) Nolan in Minnesota and he rode quite a bit and he lives here. I’ll drag him out on the road.”
The return trip to Silicon Valley will be for the long haul.
“I’ll be back in early August to get working out and get comfortable,” Burns said.
He will unfortunately be without his pet snakes that have become synonymous with him thanks to an online episode of a show called SnakeBytes TV (and we’re sure the people at Shark Byte are already all over the possibilities).
“I’m not going to bring them in, it’s going to be tough to leave them,” Burns admitted. “It’s something people are pretty interested in and it’s one of my passions. I love spending time with them.”
It sounds like he’s going to love spending time in San Jose, even if he’s without his reptile friends.