As the San Jose Sharks look to turn a corner with the franchise, not necessarily declaring a rebuild, rumors surrounding superstar defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson have turned up in recent months, with some speculating the Sharks could try to deal one of them. That speculation didn’t seem too off-base, but with the Sharks without a GM for the first time in nearly 20 years and still searching, it was unclear if the team would want to make that sort of franchise-altering trade before making the hire, and if the new hire would want to do such a thing as well.
Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News had a chance to speak to the new man in charge in that of Sharks GM Mike Grier, who touched on Burns’ future in San Jose. Grier said that he would speak with Burns soon and let him lead the way on whether or not he wanted to be dealt, understanding if the former Norris winner wanted to win now, but adding that he had been a “great Shark.” Burns, who has a modified no-trade clause, does in effect lead the way already in this situation, but Grier’s comments show that San Jose is ready to proceed in either direction with the 37-year-old, depending on how their conversation turns out. The defenseman has three more years at $8MM per season left on his contract.