Pack your bags Mr. Devin Setoguchi, you’re heading into the Wild.
While waiting for San Jose’s 28th overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft in Minnesota, just before the Chicago Blackhawks were about to make their 18th overall pick in the 1st round, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman approached the podium and stated that he had “a trade to announce.”
The crowd went wild, as this was the first trade announced during this year’s draft. Little did they know how much the trade would affect their franchise, and shape that of San Jose’s.
It was announced that the Minnesota Wild had traded defenseman Brent Burns and a second round pick in 2012 to San Jose Sharks for forward Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and a first-round draft pick (28th overall) .
This trade comes as a huge shock for Sharks fans, as the day prior, Setoguchi had just signed a 3 year $9 million contract with San Jose, extending his career with the team that drafted him.
I’m super excited to be able to stay in the organization where I started my career. – Devin Setoguchi via Brodie Brazil
Unfortunately for Setoguchi and his fans in San Jose, that won’t be the case. But the trade was not in vain, as San Jose addresses an issue that has plaugued the team since Rob Blake retired in the summer of 2010, coupled with the departure of Niclas Walin and the unsaid release of Ian White. The Sharks acquired a 6’5″ beast in Brent Burns.
Naturally a winger, Burns was converted to a defenseman in 2003 by the great defensive coach Jacques Lemaire, earning Burns a regular spot on the Minnesota Wild. Last year Burns finished the season with 17 goals and 29 assists, setting a team record for goals (17) and points (46) by a defenseman. Through his play, Burns ranked third in goals and tied for third in powerplay goals among NHL defensemen.
His size and ability to quarterback the blueline are definitely some assets that San Jose has needed defensively, with their largest defenseman being Douglas Murray at 6’3″.
It’s always shocking to see a fan favorite leave your team, and there will no doubt be remorse for fans in San Jose when the next time they see Setoguchi, he’ll be wearing green and gold. And in that move that all GM’s look to make in order to get their team just that much closer to the prize, the Stanley Cup, Doug Wilson made a crazy, blockbuster move to get a man that he thinks will help get them there.
There’s no doubt that our defensive core has just bulked up, making the nucleus of Dan Boyle, Murray and Marc-Edouard Vlasic just that much more of a shut down defense.
– Devin Di Nardo (Twitter)