Sports: Several teams reportedly checking in on Sharks star defenseman Brent Burns

Edmonton Oilers announce Fort Wayne Komets as new ECHL affiliate

  Edmonton Oilers announce Fort Wayne Komets as new ECHL affiliate The two teams had been previously affiliated between 1988 and 1990. © Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images The Oilers have a new ECHL affiliate. Oilers assistant general manager Bill Scott released the following statement:"On behalf of Ken Holland, Keith Gretzky and the entire Edmonton Oilers organization, we are thrilled to announce our new affiliation with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL. As one of the premiere clubs in the ECHL with a rich history of professional hockey in Indiana, we are very excited to have our future Oilers in Fort Wayne.

After new San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier explained Monday that he’ll let Brent Burns “lead the way” on his future, speculation has drummed up around the league. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweeted Tuesday that the Carolina Hurricanes are kicking tires on Burns (and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry) as they look to replace the offense that left with Tony DeAngelo, while Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia notes that the Ottawa Senators have done the same.

Will the Sharks trade defenseman Brent Burns? © Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports Will the Sharks trade defenseman Brent Burns?

The team most often linked is the Dallas Stars, which expect to lose John Klingberg this offseason and have some clear connections to Burns through head coach Peter DeBoer and veteran forward Joe Pavelski.

Hurricanes sign Ethan Bear to one-year contract extension

  Hurricanes sign Ethan Bear to one-year contract extension The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Ethan Bear to a one-year contract extension, according to a report by PuckPedia. © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Ethan Bear Bear’s new one-way contract carries a $2.2 million cap hit. The 5’11”, 197-pound right-handed defenseman scored five goals and 14 points while averaging 16:05 in 58 games with the Hurricanes during the 2021–22 regular season. The #Canes re-signed 25 y/o RFA RD Ethan Bear to 1 year $2.2M Deal. Will be UFA on expiry, 1 year from UFA eligibility.14P in 58 GPOn ice 50% 5v5 GF, 54% DFFScored 0.

While Grier might be letting Burns take the lead, getting out from his contract certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Sharks as they try to move forward in a different direction. The 37-year-old defenseman has three years left on his deal and carries an $8M cap hit, though the actual salary owed is much less. Burns will earn just $16.5M over the last three seasons of the eight-year, $64M contract, and $3.5M of that was in the form of a signing bonus already paid this summer.

Though his is not a full no-trade clause, Burns does have almost full control of the situation. He submits a list of just three teams that he can be traded to on July 1 of every year.

The part that makes Burns’ future so interesting is that, despite his age, he is still an effective player. He recorded 54 points last season while still averaging more than 26 minutes a night and actually saw his deployment skew more defensive than in years past. In a more sheltered, offensive role, perhaps he could be even more effective for a contending team.

Philadelphia Flyers hire Rocky Thompson as assistant coach

  Philadelphia Flyers hire Rocky Thompson as assistant coach Thompson served as an associate coach for the San Jose Sharks in 2020-21 but parted ways for last season after explaining that a medical exemption kept him from taking the COVID-19 vaccine. It would seem as though that will no longer pose an issue, as the Flyers welcome him aboard to help coach the forwards and power play. While Thompson doesn’t have a ton of NHL experience as a player or coach, his minor-league résumé is vast and impressive. He played more than 600 total games in the AHL and served as head coach of the Chicago Wolves for three seasons before joining San Jose.

While the focus now is on free agency that starts in under 24 hours, there will be a number of trades also going down over the next few weeks. Whether Burns stays in San Jose appears to be completely up in the air at the moment.

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