Devin Setoguchi

Draft day trade stunner: Sharks trade Devin Setoguchi to Minnesota for Brent Burns and more


We’d been wondering if we would see a big trade at the NHL Draft in Minnesota and the home town Wild couldn’t let things go quietly. The Wild made the fans in Xcel Energy Center go wild when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the Wild traded defenseman Brent Burns and a 2012 second round pick to San Jose for scoring forward Devin Setoguchi, prospect Charlie Coyle, and San Jose’s 2011 first round pick, number 28 overall.

The Wild add a scoring forward the likes of which they haven’t seen since Marian Gaborik was soaring up and down the ice and a guy that can produce in the clutch as well. At age 24, Setoguchi has shown flashes of brilliance scoring 84 career goals in four seasons. Last season he had 22 but had a career high of 31 three seasons ago. Being on a team that had him playing on the second line in San Jose kept his minutes down but the potential for big seasons is still there. He’ll get his chances to shine with the Wild.

Adding prospect Charlie Coyle gives the Wild a big center that they’ll watch continue to grow at Boston University. In his freshman season with the Terriers, Coyle scored seven goals and added 19 assists. Coyle also played for Team USA at the World Junior Championships last year.

For San Jose, they get the reliable rock on defense the team had sorely been lacking. Burns is an all-star player with the ability to defend well and score goals and play strong offensively. Burns is coming off his best professional season last year scoring 17 goals and adding 29 assists for the Wild while playing at -10 on the plus/minus. Burns also averaged a stunning 25:03 time on ice last year as the team’s top defenseman. The Sharks getting Minnesota’s second round pick in next year’s draft showed how much San Jose was looking to get Burns. Not getting more of a return there is surprising.

Burns will join the likes of Douglas Murray, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Dan Boyle on the blue line. The Sharks needed better play from their defense all around and now they’ve got it in Burns.

Making this deal all the more interesting is that the Sharks had just re-signed Setoguchi to a three-year, $9 million deal the other day. Sharks GM Doug Wilson said he didn’t have intention of dealing Setoguchi when he signed him to that deal and that this trade came up fast. We’re sure that won’t be over-analyzed at all in the coming days.

For now, this deal looks like a winner for both teams. The Wild fill a need with a scoring winger they desperately needed and the Sharks get the top flight defenseman they’ve been coveting for some time. Time will tell if Setoguchi can be the man the Wild hope he is and the Sharks will hope that Burns’ big year last year was the start of something really good.

Brandon Sutter didn’t have the greatest preseason

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When Brandon Sutter was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks, GM Jim Benning called the 26-year-old a “foundation piece for our group going forward.”

Sutter was quickly signed to a five-year extension worth almost $22 million, more evidence of how highly management thought of the player.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Benning was asked the following question:

“What does it say that you made the trade for Sutter, you called him a ‘foundation’ player, and it took him until the final night of the preseason to find a spot (with the Sedins) on the wing, which isn’t his natural position?”

Here was Benning’s response:

“Well, [head coach Willie Desjardins] wants to try that out, he thinks that’s going to be a good fit. At various times, the Sedins played with wingers with speed, with [Ryan Kesler], who could get in on the forecheck and had a good shot. Sutter brings some of those qualities, too.”

While all that may be true, Sutter was not signed to play the wing; he was brought in to play center, specifically on the second line. He finished the preseason with zero points in five games. And as mentioned, he’ll start the season on the wing, not his natural position.

Meanwhile, youngsters Bo Horvat, 20, and Jared McCann, 19, had outstanding camps and are expected to start the regular season (tonight in Calgary) centering the second and third lines, respectively.

Though Sutter did finish the preseason with 12 shots on goal, up there with the most on the Canucks, it’s fair to say he did not look like a “foundation” player.

“I haven’t seen him play his best,” Desjardins said last week. “I see a guy who’s big and a good skater and who understands the game real well, but just hasn’t got that involved.”

Now, we are only talking about the preseason here. New players often take time to get comfortable. Perhaps playing with the Sedins can provide Sutter with some confidence.

“I know he’ll be there and I totally believe that,” said Desjardins.

But it hasn’t been the best start, and if it wasn’t for the encouraging play of the youngsters, it would be a far bigger story in Vancouver.

Related: Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado

Detroit waives Cleary

Daniel Cleary

Dan Cleary‘s time as a Red Wing could soon be over.

Detroit placed the veteran forward on waivers Wednesday afternoon, per TSN. The move comes after Cleary signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $950,000 just weeks before training camp, then proceeded to play in four of Detroit’s exhibition contests, scoring two points.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens now.

At 36, Cleary doesn’t have much left in the tank and is coming off a year in which he played just 17 games. But as we noted back in the summer, this seems to all be part of a larger plan.

From the Free Press:

A situation that bears the handprint of former coach Mike Babcock has put the Wings in the position of being honor-bound to keep Cleary, 36, aboard, even as he is coming off a season that saw him play just 17 games, producing two points.

This debacle began two years ago. The Wings had offered Cleary a three-year, $6.25-million contract before he became unrestricted July 1. He declined. The Wings then signed Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson, leaving little space under the salary cap. Then Cleary didn’t sign with anyone. September rolled around. The Flyers offered Cleary a three-year deal for $8.25 million, but Cleary then decided he wanted to stay in Detroit.

He ended up flying to Traverse City, where the Wings already had begun training camp. He met in a hangar with Holland and Babcock. Holland pointed to a near maxed-out budget. Babcock pushed hard for Cleary to be signed. What resulted was a one-year, $1.75-million deal with the understanding the Wings would take into consideration what Cleary left on the Flyers table.

After playing out that $1.75 million deal, Cleary re-signed in Detroit last summer to a one-year, $1.5 million pact — so, essentially, the Wings are now in final year of an unspoken three-year agreement that’s (sorta) aimed at repaying what got left on the table in Philly.

Got all that?

If Cleary gets through waivers, the Wings could send him to AHL Grand Rapids. Since he signed a one-way deal, he’d get his money regardless.

There’s also the option of Babcock and the Leafs claiming Cleary off waivers — a scenario that, as unlikely as it sounds, has already made the rounds on social media.