Burns staying quiet regarding his status

Burns staying quiet regarding his status
January 9, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Brent Burns had surgery to repair a sports hernia in late May, but was seen skating Wednesday. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SAN JOSE – Brent Burns continues to put on his best poker face when it comes to his status for a potential opening night on Jan. 19.

The defenseman, who had surgery to repair a sports hernia in late May, skated at Sharks Ice on Wednesday with teammates Douglas Murray, Tommy Wingels and Thomas Greiss.

How did he feel?

“I’m happy today. I’m in a good mood. That’s all I’ve got for ya, though,” Burns said. He declided - again - to put a percentage on the chances he'll be ready to go for the first game.

Burns appeared to be testing out his groin a bit more on Wednesday, including some harder starts and stops than we saw last Friday. The organization is not allowed to comment on Burns until after the new collective bargaining agreement is formally ratified.

The defenseman revealed last Friday that he played through a sports hernia/groin injury in the second half of the year. It was surprising news in that Burns was a more effective player in the second half than he had been in the first half of his first season in teal.

The injury may have forced him to simplify his game.

“Hockey guys deal with a lot of [stuff] all the time. We’re never healthy. I think it’s tough when you’re dealing with something, but I did it,” Burns said. “You change your game and kind of make things simpler, and a lot times for me it probably gets me out of trouble more often than it gets me in trouble."

“I think you play a little different. I think you can’t help but play different. If you’ve got a tough guy and he’s got a broken hand, he’s probably going to change his game a little bit. Depending on whatever you’re dealing with you change your game. I think that’s kind of what happened. I was able to kind of work through it.”

* * *

The Worcester Sharks signed a familiar name to a professional tryout on Tuesday in former Sharks forward Patrick Rissmiller. The 34-year-old native of Belmont, MA has 192 games of NHL experience, and had his best season in the NHL in 2006-07 with the Sharks when he scored 22 points (7g, 15a) in 79 games.

Rissmiller and Worcester head coach Roy Sommer have a history together, too, spending four years together in Cleveland (AHL).

The 6-4, 220-pound left wing last appeared in the NHL in 2010-11 with the Florida Panthers, playing nine games that year.

Michael Wilson, a 25-year-old defenseman, was also signed to a PTO.

* * *

Many of the Sharks players in town did not skate on Wednesday, opting for perhaps a final day off, but will return to the ice on Thursday. Training camps are not expected to begin until Sunday, although nothing is official yet.