NHL

Numbers Game: Sharks bring in Burns, ship out Setoguchi

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Scott Cullen
6/24/2011 11:22:38 PM
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In the biggest deal on the day, the Minnesota Wild moved out their number one defenceman, but received a healthy package of talent in return.

Numbers Game digs into the Brent Burns-Devin Setoguchi trade.

The Sharks Get: D Brent Burns and a second-round pick.

Burns, 26, was finally healthy after a couple of seasons battling concussions, playing in 80 games last season and staked his claim to be considered among the top all-around blueliners in the league, so this is a potentially difference-making deal for the Sharks.

Burns has a rare combination of size and puck skills that are borne out of his days as a forward and scored a career-high 17 goals and 46 points last season. Though he was minus-10, his five-on-five shot differential per 60 minutes was the best among Minnesota defencemen.

After logging more than 25 minutes per game last season, Burns will be able to handle a heavy workload as long as he remains healthy, which may help ease the workload on Sharks defencemen  Dan Boyle, who ranked second in the league with 26:14 ice time per game.

The draft pick portion of this swap is really a sweetener for the Wild, with a marginal difference in value between pick No. 28 and the No. 40.

Minnesota may need to look for some free agent help on defence after this deal as Marek Zidlicky, with 24 points in 46 games, is now the top returning scorer on the Wild blueline.

The Wild Get: RW Devin Setoguchi, C Charlie Coyle and a first-round pick.

Signed to a new three-year contract Thursday, 24-year-old Devin Setoguchi was on his way to another disappointing season when his game turned around in the second half. Due in no small part to more chances playing with Joe Thornton, Setoguchi scored 15 goals and 29 points in the last 33 games, giving him 41 points for the season.

For all of his ups and downs, Setoguchi does have three straight 20-goal seasons and he's done it largely without requiring prime ice time, playing 15:12 per game last season.

In Minnesota, he could not only play alongside Mikko Koivu, but Setoguchi may be able to get a few more minutes per game, which should give him an opportunity to put up the second 50-point season of his career.

A first-round pick last summer, 19-year-old Charlie Coyle had a solid freshman year at Boston University, scoring 26 points in 37 games, but thrived at the World Junior Hockey Championships, tying to the Team USA lead with six points in seven games.

Coyle has good size, at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds already, plays a well-rounded game already and should develop more offensively as he matures.

With the 28th pick, the Wild selected Zack Phillips, the high-scoring centre from the Memorial-Cup-champion Saint John Sea Dogs. Phillips had 95 points and a plus-48 rating in 67 games last season.

His speed is considered the one part of his game that could hold him back, but Phillips certainly has a chance to make it as a playmaking centre in a few years.

It's not easy for the Wild to give up their top defenceman, but they've helped stock the system, getting three skilled forwards with as-yet-unrealized potential.

Additionally, Burns' concussion history and contract status -- he'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season -- might have made the timing right for the Wild to deal a prime asset while he could yield a significant return.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Brent Burns (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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