The blockbuster trade of the night went down between the Sharks and Wild. Devin Setoguchi, who just re-signed yesterday with San Jose for three years, is headed to Minnesota in exchange for defenseman Brent Burns in a five-player deal.
San Jose was desperate for a top-four defenseman; Minnesota was antsy to add some offense. Both teams fill needs for their teams. But the Wild have the most to look forward to in this deal. They also traded a second-rounder in 2012 to San Jose, but acquired prospect center Charlie Coyle and the 28th overall pick (Zack Phillips).
GM Chuck Fletcher took a safe gamble with this trade. Setoguchi is two years removed from his 30-goal campaign in 2008-09, but is still 24 years old. He’s scored a combined 42 goals in the last two years and had a solid postseason this past spring. You have to think he’ll immediately be inserted on the top line next to Mikko Koivu.
Coyle was San Jose’s first-round pick last June and was rated 11th overall in The Hockey News’ Future Watch edition in the spring. Coyle, who is still a year or two away from the NHL, stood out at the World Juniors for the U.S. this past winter and had a solid season at Boston University.
The Sharks, meanwhile, are getting a top-line blue-liner in Burns. Though it came at a somewhat-steep price, Burns had 46 points in 80 games for the Wild. GM Doug Wilson needed to acquire a minutes-eating defenseman this off-season, and Burns, who logged an average of 25:02 per game, is just that. He also made it to the All-Star Game this year. On the flip side, injuries have haunted him in past seasons.
With this deal, Wilson is trying even more to win now. San Jose’s system took a hit by giving up Coyle and the 28th pick, while Setoguchi still had potential. Though their top-six up front is settled and they filled their biggest off-season need, the Sharks moved some more chips to the center of the table.
Burns will be heading into his contract year, with $3.55 million remaining. The Sharks now have 16 players signed with $8.4 million of cap space, according to CapGeek.com. Meanwhile, Minnesota will have Setoguchi under contract for a total of $9 million for the next three years.
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