The Sharks and pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Brent Burns are making progress on a contract extension, reports ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun (Twitter link). He does, however, note that the deal is not yet done. LeBrun also adds in a follow-up tweet that there are still some deals to be ironed out but that lots of progress has been made. Speculatively, one of the areas that likely would be getting worked on is the amount of no-trade or no-move protection and how it may vary – if at all – over the life of the contract.
Last season, Burns finished second in points among all NHL defensemen with 75 while he averaged just shy of 26 minutes per game. He’s off to another strong start this season with seven goals and nine assists in 19 games; his 16 points lead all blueliners.
Back in September, we took a closer look at his contract situation and suggested that he could be in line for a seven year extension with an AAV of $7.875MM.
Other news from around the league:
- Unrestricted free agent goaltender Karri Ramo is close to receiving the green light from doctors to return to game action, reports Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston (Twitter link). Ramo is currently skating with the Maple Leafs but does not have a contract, similar to UFA left winger Brandon Prust. While the goalie market has been quiet as of late with Andrew Hammond passing through waivers, Ramo could draw some attention as potentially a cheaper option for teams. He could also take a minor league deal to get in some game action and showcase himself to potential teams that way.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned defenseman Derrick Pouliot to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on a conditioning stint, the team announced. The former first round pick has spent the bulk of the season on injured reserve with a lower body injury and last played on October 21st, his lone game of the season. The Penguins plan to play him in three minor league contests and then be re-evaluated by team doctors next week.
- Blues forward Alex Steen is not with the team on their two-game road trip although the team hasn’t ruled him out of playing the second game on Wednesday in Washington, writes Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has missed the last two games with concussion-like symptoms (though the team is stressing that it’s not a concussion). Steen has two goals and eight assists through 17 games this season.