Mar 24, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; San Jose Sharks right wing Brent Burns (88) skates with the puck against the Calgary Flames during the overtime period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 2-1 in the shootout. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Will Brent Burns Transition Smoothly Back to Defense?

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The San Jose Sharks will be a different team come October. With new additions and some veterans no longer on the roster, there is no doubt that the team’s management is trying to rattle things on the ice. Another aspect is Brent Burns moving back to defense.

Burns moved to offense in the middle of the 2012-13 season and made the transition look easy. After a season and a half as a forward, everyone is now wondering if Burns can make the transition back to the blue line look just as effortless.

With Dan Boyle being traded in May, the announcement to bring Burns back to defense was no surprise. Boyle was arguably the Sharks best defensive threat prior to getting hurt last season, and unfortunately he never played the same again. Burns will be a great player to take the place of Boyle and has the potential to be just as large of a threat.

Not to mention something needs to be done in terms of the Sharks defense, as it was a huge part of the problem over the course of the 2013-14 season. Burns can use his size and skating ability to not only be an excellent defenseman, but a defenseman that can create scoring chances and record points. In my opinion, this is exactly what the Sharks need on their roster.

“It’s also something that Brent really wants to do,” said general manager Doug Wilson. “In my conversation with him, he views himself as a defenseman. Having that big body back there that can be creative and also shoot the puck like he does, we think will be a great asset to our team.”

Burns was an NHL All-Star as a defenseman and there’s no doubt after training in the fall, that this move back to the blue line will be just as effortless, if not even more so.

Logan Couture, despite stating that he’ll miss his power shots up front, agrees that Buns has the capability to transition easily:

“He’s a force when he’s on the ice. He’s big, he’s strong. He defends well and he’s got a great shot from the back end. He’s one of the few players that can go back and forth. He’s so versatile. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do on the back end this year.”

I think Couture nails it and can speaks for all fans when he states that he’s excited to see what Burns can do. And there’s no doubt it will be excellent.

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