Sharks' Brent Burns has played much more than anyone this NHL playoffs


Sharks' Brent Burns has played much more than anyone this NHL playoffs

Brent Burns has played a lot in this Stanley Cup playoffs, and a lot more than anyone else. 

The Sharks defenseman leads all skaters in total ice time (408:59) and ice time per game (29:13). The latter mark is 41 seconds clear of the next closest skater (Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones), and 2:46 ahead of any player whose team hasn't been eliminated (Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Jacob Slavin). The former total, however, is in a league of its own.

Burns played more in the first round (213:18) and the second (195:41) than anyone else has in a single round this postseason. His total in the first round was the seventh most in a single series in NHL playoff history, and the former was 55th most.

Both of the Sharks' series going seven games is a driving force behind those gaudy totals, but Burns still averaged more ice time than anyone else in the first round (30:28 per game) and more in the second round (27:57) than all but two players: Jones (30:56) and Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell (27:57).

Plus, the defenseman also has been relied upon to shut down opposing top lines in the playoffs. In the first round, Vegas Golden Knights forwards Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny and Mark Stone each spent almost half of their 5-on-5 ice time matched up with Burns, according to Natural Stat Trick. Colorado Avalanche All-Stars Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen skated against Burns during 5-on-5 play about two-thirds of the time. 

Burns unsurprisingly is averaging plenty of time on the power play (3:08 per game), but he also leads the Sharks in total short-handed ice time (42:00), and average time on the penalty kill (3:00). Despite Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's end-of-season insistence that Burns is not a top-unit penalty killer, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer is using him like one this postseason.

[RELATED: Sharks preparing to play more physical series vs. Blues]

The veteran defenseman is known for taking care of his body, and that work is paying off as he continues to shoulder a heavy load. He is tied for the team lead with 14 playoff points, and the Sharks sit four wins away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2016.

If they're going to eliminate the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference final, you're going to see Burns on the ice more often than not. 

How Sharks' previous trades, signings would be affected by new NHL CBA

How Sharks' previous trades, signings would be affected by new NHL CBA

The Sharks were forced to surrender multiple first-round draft picks over the past few years in order to retain top-of-the-line talent.

But in the NHL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement, San Jose's agreements with Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson would have been different.

Kane was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in Feb. of 2018, with the Sharks surrendering Daniel O'Regan and a fourth-round draft pick. But the deal included a condition that if Kane re-signed in San Jose, the compensation sent to Buffalo would increase in value. Sure enough, Kane re-upped with the Sharks and San Jose instead had to deal a 2019 first-round pick to the East Coast.

But the new agreement mandates that teams no longer can include conditions in trades that allow for further compensation if a player re-signs, meaning the Sharks would have been able to hold on to their 2019 first-round pick (No. 29 overall), which ended up being used by the Anaheim Ducks on Canadian wing Brayden Tracey.

[RELATED: How NHL's potential new labor deal could affect Sharks’ offseason plan]

Previous CBA guidelines didn't allow NHL teams to sign players acquired via trade to an eight-year extension until after the following trade deadline. This forced San Jose to wait until June of 2019 to ink Karlsson to his eight-year, $92 million extension with the team, despite joining the organization in Sept. of 2018 after a trade with the Ottawa Senators.

But in the recently ratified CBA, this rule no longer will apply.

The 2019-20 NHL season returns to the ice on Aug. 1, but the Sharks won't be one of the 24 teams competing.

Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'


Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'

Just over a year after losing their daughter during pregnancy, Sharks forward Evander Kane and his wife, Anna, welcomed another daughter into the world.

The Kanes announced the birth of their daughter, Kensington Ava, on Thursday on social media. Evander Kane said his daughter was born on July 3. 

"My wife Anna is a rockstar, the strength and love she has displayed over the last 18 months," Kane wrote on Twitter. "We want to thank everyone who has reached out during this period in support of our family and (we) appreciate the kind words throughout this journey. I'm so proud of my daughter, it's tough to put into words how much she means to me."

Kane thanked the Sharks, their fans, his friends and family "for their overwhelming love" during a difficult time. Last March, Kane announced that their daughter, Eva, passed away 26 weeks into Anna's pregnancy.

"You gave us all, especially your mom and I, something to be excited about," Kane wrote of Eva on Twitter on March 14, 2019. "And though we are devastated that you couldn't stay with us longer, your mom and I will always cherish the time we had with your beautiful soul. Your spirit will give us strength, your love will give us comfort. We will love you forever."

The Sharks, San Jose teammate Mario Ferraro and Hockey Diversity Alliance co-founder Akim Aliu all commented on Kane's Instagram post on Thursday.