Sharks

Sharks trade Setoguchi, 28th pick to Wild

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Sharks trade Setoguchi, 28th pick to Wild

June 24, 2011SHARKS PAGE SHARKSVIDEO
Ryan O'Halloran
CSNWashington.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson let the hockey world know Friday that making the Western Conference finals two consecutive years is not enough.

Scheduled to select 28th overall in the first round of the NHL Draft at Xcel Energy Center, Wilson pulled off the blockbuster deal of the night, acquiring defenseman Brent Burns from the Minnesota Wild in a three-player, two-draft pick trade.

Coming to San Jose is Burns and a 2012 second-round pick and going to Minnesota is forward Devin Setoguchi (who signed a three-year, 9 million pact on Thursday), 2010 first-round pick Charlie Coyle and their first round pick in this draft.

Its a very important window for us with the ages of our guys, Wilson said. Weve had back-to-back years in the final four and were not satisfied. We feel this makes us a better team today.

NEWS: Sharks sign Setoguchi to three-year deal

The Sharks entered the off-season knowing they needed an infusion of youth and talent along the blue line and they feel Burns fills the need hes young (25), big (6-foot-5, 219 pounds) and has offensive skill (46 points last year).

Burns will make 4 million in the final year of his contract.

When you dont win, you make changes; the Bruins won and will make changes thats the way the business is set up, coach Todd McLellan said. The past few years, we felt we were maybe not as strong on the blue line as we needed to be when all was said and done.

Said Wilson: I might be biased but defenseman is the most important position on the team.

When commissioner Gary Bettman announced the trade, Wild fans reacted with equal parts gasps, cheers and boos. Burns played all 453 games of his NHL career in Minnesota.

RATTO: Sharks get their top-class defenseman

Wilson said the trade didnt come out of nowhere, but the consummation of the deal came together very quickly today. He was engaged in talks with Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher throughout the day.

There arent many players that have his size and skating ability and skill set and when they do, and a team lets you know theyre available, you have to act quickly, Wilson said.

Burns transition to the Sharks should be made more seamless since hes been coached by McLellan and assistant coach Matt Shaw.

Weve had the opportunity to be around him as he developed and there are a number of really good qualities, McLellan said. One, he played for Jacques Lemaire and he does understand the defensive game. Theres a strong game there. Two, hes a very passionate player. He has an energy about him. And the third thing, for his size, is he moves around the ice well.

I dont think hes come near his potential. I say that at both ends of the rink. I think he can be better defensively and offensively. Its exciting to have him. I hope hes going to be excited about a fresh start.

The Wild hope Setoguchi sparks an offense that had the fewest shots on goal in the NHL last year. He has three straight 20-goal seasons and was traded a day after signing his deal. Wilson said he wasnt re-signed with the intention of immediately flipping him to Minnesota.

The signing of Devin was not based on this deal, it was based on how we feel about him as a player, Wilson said. Hes a very tough player to give up but you do have to give to get this type of player.

Said McLellan: Devin is a tremendous player and the Wild will be happy with him. He has a speed element and a shot and scoring potential and hes probably in the same range of Burns in his development there is uncapped potential that may come out in the future.

The draft wraps up Saturday and San Jose has five picks.

There are some players our guys have evaluated, Wilson said. We may pick up a couple more picks between now and then. We have to make sure we keep on replenishing our pipeline.

As expected, Edmonton chose center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall, making him the first native of British Columbia to go No. 1. He joins youngsters Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle as the core of the Oilers rebuilding effort.

Its a huge relief and it feels awesome to be picked by them, Nugent-Hopkins said. I can definitely learn a lot from the all the young guys. They have such a talented group of young guys, too. Its going to be great to join that group.

Colorado, hours after trading veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles to Toronto, bypassed Swedish blue-liner Adam Larsson for another Swede Gabriel Landeskog, who could be in the Avalanche lineup as soon as this year.

Rounding out the top five were Jonathan Huberdeau to Florida, Adam Larsson to New Jersey and Ryan Strome to the Islanders.

The first reach was by the new Winnipeg Jets, who formally announced their newold nickname before making the pick. The choice was center Mark Scheifele, who was ranked No. 16 among North American skaters by Central Scouting.

Following a run of six defensemen in seven picks, the Rangers at No. 15 chose the first American winger J.T. Miller. He was also a reach (ranked No. 23).

Thornton leaves game vs Jets in final minute with apparent knee injury

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AP

Thornton leaves game vs Jets in final minute with apparent knee injury

The San Jose Sharks not only lost in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, but also lost their second-leading scorer to injury. 

Joe Thornton left the final minute of the game with an apparent injury to his right knee. With Jets forward Andrew Copp backchecking, Mikkel Boedker collided into Thornton's knee in front of the Sharks bench. 

Thornton took a stride on each leg as he skated gingerly to the bench, and did not return to the game. 

The 38-year-old underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee this summer. He missed the final three games of the regular season last year, but returned to play in San Jose's final four postseason games in a first round, six-game loss to the Edmonton Oilers. 

Thornton is second on the Sharks with 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists), and has scored nine points in his last seven games. He is second among forwards in average ice time, and is playing 18:20 per night in his 20th NHL season. 

Durant rips referee after ejection against Knicks: 'He was searching for me'

Durant rips referee after ejection against Knicks: 'He was searching for me'

With 2:50 left in Tuesday's game against the Knicks, Kevin Durant was ejected.

It's the fourth time this season that he's been thrown out of a game.

After the Warriors' 123-112 win, Durant didn't bite his tongue when asked about what happened between him and referee James Williams.

"In the first half, I was dribbling up the right side, I made a left to right cross. He said I carried, ah, you kinda let that go. I asked him 'Where'd you get the carry from?' He said 'You froze the defender.' I said 'That's what a crossover is for.' And that's why I do it, to freeze my defender. And he tried to make a bunch of excuses and I told him he was wrong," Durant said. "He went to halftime probably with an attitude and the second half, his whole thing was, he's trying to get me. So, look at my first tech. I got the rebound, dribbled the ball hard and he teched me up. He was searching for me, he lookin' to try to tech me up to get me back because he's still in his feelings from the first half. That's what been going on around the league the whole year, a bunch of that. I gotta keep my head a little bit, but I was upset."

Draymond Green attempted to hold Durant back prior to the ejection. Durant was asked about that after the game and was able to laugh about it.

"The irony," Durant said to much laughter from reporters at Oracle.

"I was not trying to hear it. He was right in doing so. I didn't want to get teched up or thrown out,  but I did want him to hear what I had to say," Durant said.

Durant can expect to hear from the league office regarding his comments.