Burns: Wild are like an 'ex-girlfriend'

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Burns: Wild are like an 'ex-girlfriend'

SAN JOSE Sometimes it takes the perfect song lyrics to express what youre really feeling.

Brent Burns, who is preparing to face his former club on Thursday for the first time since getting traded to the Sharks in the offseason, thinks he found it in Ill Pray for You by Jaron and the Long Road to Love.

He likened his emotions towards the Minnesota Wild with those ofwell, well just have to let him explain.

Its like an ex-girlfriend, said Burns. You dont really want her to get the ole' white picket fence and a great job after, he said. Its like that good country song, youre praying for herto get hit by a car (laughs).

Youll have to download the rest to get the full effect of the song, which Burns admitted he recently heard on the radio.

Now, Burns was just joking around, of course. He has fond memories of playing for the Wild and keeps in touch with several former teammates and friends in Minnesota. He was drafted in the first round in 2003 by the organization, and spent the first eight years of his career there.

That doesnt mean he wants to see them near the top of the standings, though, which is where the Wild sit after extending their winning streak to five games with a 3-0 win in Calgary on Tuesday.

They have a little bit more wins than I would like, he said.

I like the city and the people I met there, but I dont know if you have a special place in your heart for the team anymore. Obviously, it was a huge part of my life and I loved being there, and at the time I wanted to be there for the rest of my career.

Its not just Burns who will be facing some old mates. Marty Havlat was also traded to the Sharks from the Wild, while Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley will make their respective returns to the Tank since the flurry of offseason activity between the two clubs.

While its a new situation for Burns, it's somewhat old hat to Havlat, who has played for four teams in his 11-year NHL career.

Its always a little different when youre playing the team you used to play for and you know all the people there, said Havlat, who named Minnesotas Marek Zidlicky as one of his closest friends. Well see how it goes.

Weve started well, and theyve started well, too. Everybodys happy so far.

As for the head coach, Todd McLellan isnt surprised that the Sharks and Wild have both seemed to benefit from the offseason trades.

Thats how trades should work out. The days of fleecing some of these general managers doesnt exist. They are bright, they do their homework and have really good staffs. The business part of it keeps it very honest.

He wishes nothing by the best to his former players on the Wild, which also includes winger Brad Staubitz.

Were well aware of the fact that Stauby and Heater and Seto are there, he said. Were following them, and we want them to do well. Its not a selfish thing, they were Sharks for a long, long time and they gave us everything they had. When theyre successful were very happy for them.

Now, that doesnt mean when they come into our building that we dont want to beat them, but theyre great people and we want them to succeed.

Sharks trade Tommy Wingels to Senators

Sharks trade Tommy Wingels to Senators

Tommy Wingels has been traded to the Ottawa Senators for a pair of depth forwards and a seventh round draft pick in 2017, the Sharks announced on Tuesday.

Buddy Robinson and Zack Stortini, both right wings, will be assigned to the AHL Barracuda.

Robinson, 25, has 12 points (7g, 5a) in 33 AHL games with Binghamton. In seven career NHL games with Ottawa, the six-foot-six, 230-pound New Jersey native has one goal and one assist.

Stortini, 31, has three points (2g, 1a) in 22 games for Binghamton this season. The six-foot-two, 220-pound Ontario native has appeared in 257 career NHL games with Edmonton and Nashville, posting 41 points (14g, 27a) and 718 penalty minutes.

The move clears the way for the Sharks to activate injured forward Tomas Hertl, who is day-to-day with a right knee injury that required surgery in mid-November.

According to a source, there is a very good chance Hertl returns to the Sharks on Thursday against the Oilers.

San Jose will retain 30 percent of Wingels’ $2.475 million salary, according to the Senators, which comes out to $742,500.

Wingels, 28, posted 122 points (51g, 71a) and 197 penalty minutes in 337 career games with San Jose over parts of seven seasons. He was originally drafted by the Sharks in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

He is the second player that has essentially been pushed off of the Sharks’ roster as they incorporate younger players like Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier into the fold. Matt Nieto was waived in early January, and claimed by the Avalanche on Jan. 5.

"Tommy has been a valuable member of our franchise for many years, a phenomenal teammate and a true role model on and off the ice for our organization and the NHL," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "As a team evolves and younger players push for roster spots, unfortunately tough decisions have to be made. We wish Tommy and his wife, Molly, nothing but success in the future.

"We also want to welcome Buddy and Zach to our organization. They add size and depth to our reserve list and we look forward to having them in San Jose.”

NHL Gameday: Streaking Sharks roll into Winnipeg, can reclaim first place

NHL Gameday: Streaking Sharks roll into Winnipeg, can reclaim first place

Programming note – Sharks-Jets coverage starts today at 4:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 30-16-2, 62 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Jets: 22-24-4, 48 points, 5th Central Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks won their fifth straight game on Monday in Colorado, 5-2, thanks to four goals from Patrick Marleau. San Jose is 7-2-0 overall in its last nine games, and can move back into first place in the Pacific Division ahead of idle Anaheim with a win tonight.

Winnipeg will also be playing the second of a back-to-back, after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Ducks at home on Monday. The Jets are 2-4-1 in their last seven, including a 5-2 loss to the Sharks at SAP Center on Jan. 16.

***Winnipeg should be getting impressive rookie Patrik Laine back for the game, according to local reports. He’s missed the last eight games with a concussion suffered on Jan. 7. The 18-year-old Calder Trophy candidate has 21 goals and 37 points in 42 games.

San Jose could be without Joonas Donskoi, after the winger was unable to finish the game against Colorado after taking a heavy hit from Andreas Martinsen in the first period.

***Brent Burns scored another goal last night, reaching 20 on the season. He’s the fastest defenseman to reach that mark since Kevin Hatcher in 1992-93. In his last 10 games, the Norris Trophy favorite has 15 points (5g, 10a).

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Patrick Marleau. It was a historic night on Monday for the Sharks’ all-time leading scorer, as he became the first NHL player in nearly 20 years to score four goals in a single period. He struck for three in a row to start the final frame, upping the San Jose lead to 4-1, and capped it off with a late breakaway conversion. His 16 goals suddenly puts him in a tie with Joe Pavelski for second on the team.

Jets: Mark Scheifele. The 23-year-old center is Winnipeg’s leading scorer with 46 points (21g, 25a), and he brings a five-game point streak into tonight’s game (2g, 5a). He had a late goal against San Jose on Jan. 16 (thanks to Martin Jones’ ill-advised decision to try and shoot the puck into an open net), as well as an assist on an early score by Josh Morrissey.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Kevin Labanc – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Timo Meier – Ryan Carpenter – TBD

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones
Aaron Dell

Jets
Nic Petan – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers – Mark Scheifele – Patrik Laine
Shawn Matthias – Adam Lowry – Joel Armia
Brandon Tanev – Andrew Copp – Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey – Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom – Jacob Trouba
Mark Stuart – Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavalec
Connor Hellebuyck

INJURIES

Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) is questionable. Micheal Haley (lower body), Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are out.

Jets: Patrik Laine (concussion) and Drew Stafford (lower body) are day-to-day. Tyler Myers (lower body), Marko Dano (lower body), and Ben Chiarot (lower body) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“For a while there we were up and down, winning some games, losing some games. Now we’re putting some wins together and separating ourselves from the teams behind us.” – Marc-Edouard Vlasic