The San Jose Sharks could be making some big changes this offseason. One report that has emerged is the possibility of moving long-time defenseman, Brent Burns. New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has been vocal about improving the offense via the blue line and Burns would certainly help in that area, but can the Islanders afford his services as one report suggests he may be in Lamoriello's sights?
Let's start with the fact that Burns has three seasons left on his current deal that includes an M-NTC and an $8 million AAV. That's likely a little rich for Lamoriello to acquire even if Burns decided to waive to play on Long Island. Sheng Peng of SanJoseHockeyNow and NBCSSharks recently stated why he believes Burns wouldn't be a fit for the Islanders:
"It’s hard to see Burns shaving his beard, for one -- on Lou Island, what Lamoriello says goes. The Isles also missed the playoffs this past season but were back-to-back semifinalists previously. They also should be set at the right side of their defense between emerging star Noah Dobson and stalwart Ryan Pulock."- Sheng Peng
The main takeaway in Peng's assessment of the situation is how the Islanders are set on the right side. Noah Dobson, Ryan Pulock, and Scott Mayfield are already locked in to play on the right side of the Islanders blueline. However, Peng does mention the idea of one of those "hockey trades" we keep hearing about:
"The Sharks could take one problem contract off the Islanders’ hands -- speedy 25-year-old Beauviller, signed for two more years, in exchange for Burns. Would the Islanders also add Colorado’s 2022 second-round pick on top of it?"- Sheng Peng
The AAVs don't quite cancel each other out, and if that is the move, now there's a log jam on the right side of the Islanders' blue line. Could it be just one of a series of moves to improve the Islanders' defense?
There's no doubt that Burns would be an upgrade on the Islanders' blue line. His resume is impressive and just last season he scored 10 goals and 54 points in 82 games. However, it seems unlikely that Lamoriello trades for a right defenseman, and one that costs as much as Burns with little cap flexibility and other needs to address. The Sharks are still searching for a new GM, so we're not likely to see any action until that happens, and even then, this trade seems unlikely unless San Jose is retaining a decent amount of salary.