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Friday, May 27, 2022

Trading Carlson or Burns for the Sharks won’t be easy. But could it be necessary?

It is believed to be a tantric combination for years to come. With Brent Burns and Erik Carlson locked in for a long time, the San Jose Sharks will have two of the NHL’s most prolific defenders leading its power play and chewing up a combined 50 minutes of play.

But 2019 saw some concerns with Carlson’s eight-year, $92 million contract extension. One was that the Sharks had allocated too much of their salary cap space to one spot, especially since Carlson and Burns had a lot of similar properties.

A flat salary cap for the past three seasons only added to those fears.

Now one wonders if the Sharks might be ready to make some significant changes.

Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman said on Saturday that earlier this season, there were some preliminary trade discussions between the Sharks and some of the other teams linked to Carlson, who have a full no-movement clause as part of their contract.

While those trade talks likely won’t go anywhere, Friedman said, it could represent an acceptance by the Sharks that both Burns and Carlson are a luxury they can no longer afford, and if a sensible trade offer comes along. Then they will listen.

The Sharks still have to hire a full-time general manager and shifting Carlson or Burns — whoever is in charge — may not be easy.

But it may be necessary.

Burns and Carlson’s combined pay-cap for each of the last three seasons was $19.5 million, or 23.9 percent of the $81.5 million cap. Burns’ eight-year, $64 million deal lasts three years, and Carlson’s deal, with an $11.5 million cap hit, expires at the end of the 2026–27 season.

Contracts will continue to eat up a lot of cap space for the foreseeable future, with the NHL’s salary cap rising to $82.5 million for next season, and perhaps only $1 million for 2023–24.

The Sharks still want to win and either Burns or Carlson can trade, bringing in a legitimate top-six winger for the Sharks in return, or creating enough pay-cap space to add in another deal or free agency. can.

Transferring Carlsen will seem particularly difficult. Not just because their cap is hit, but also because they have the ability to veto any trade. NHL rules allow the Sharks to retain half of Carlson’s $11.5 million cap hit in any deal, but that would be a steep price for the team to pay.

Still, after missing out on the playoffs for three consecutive years, the Sharks will have to check what’s working and what’s not.

The Sharks have held an 82-101-25 record for a .454 point percentage over the past three seasons, ranking 24th out of 31 teams not counting the Seattle Kraken. In that time, San Jose’s average goals per game per game is 2.58, ranking 30th in line with Kraken.

The Sharks converted just 17.1 percent of their power play chances since the start of the 2019-2020 season. It is ranked 25th in the NHL.

It’s unfair to lay it all on Burns and Carlson, especially since the Sharks were in a self-described ‘reset’ for most of the time, swirling multiple rookies in and out of the lineup. But, it’s not even a stretch to suggest that sharks need more bang for their buck in recent years.

For the past three seasons, Burns was third among all NHL defensemen in average time on ice at 25:54, and Carlson was 17th at 23:53. Burns was 10th among all defensemen with 128 points from 208 games, but Carlsen, who was battling injuries, had 97 points from 158 games.

Carlsen had 35 points from 50 matches this season. He needed surgery in January to repair a small muscle tear in his left arm and missed the last eight matches with an unspecified injury to his lower body.

Asked to rate Carlsen’s season, Sharks interim general manager Joe Will said last week, “I think we’ve had some tremendous games this year and[it]was noticeable when he was out of the lineup. If we had his entire season at that level of performance… we would probably be very close (for a playoff spot).”

Health is one of the reasons why the 37-year-old Burns would seem an easy player to move forward for the Sharks, despite being five years older than Carlsen.

Burns has played 679 games as of November 2013 and unlike Carlsen’s complete no-move, his contract has a modified no-trade clause in which he will accept trades from one of three teams. Burns is owed a salary of only $16.5 million in the final three years of the deal, despite his average annual value of $8 million.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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