Pre-game reading: Sharks GM believes Burns is ‘just coming into his prime’

This is a new feature on PHT. It’s like the Morning Skate, only not in the morning. 

— Up top, J.R. loves him some Brent Burns.

— Sharks GM Doug Wilson on the 31-year-old Burns: “I honestly do feel he’s just coming into his prime.” Wilson better hope so, because Burns is now signed until he’s 40. Speaking of 40, there are only 40 NHL defensemen who are older than Burns. The oldest is 39-year-old Zdeno Chara, who’s slowed down a touch but remains a huge part of the Bruins. At any rate, the Sharks had little choice but to bow to Burns’ demands. They want to win a Stanley Cup, and their chances would take a serious hit without him. (CSN Bay Area)

— If you thought the players cashed in on the World Cup, think again. “Each of the 184 players who was on a World Cup roster projected to be paid between $75,000 and $80,000 (U.S.), while players who spent all 186 days on an NHL roster last season will be paid about $10,000 each.” While that’s a decent chunk of change for the Average Joe, it’s not for the best hockey players in the world. Burns, for example, is set to make almost $100,000 per game on his new deal. (Hockey News)

— A list of seven rookies making unexpected contributions, featuring Flyers forward Travis Konecny, who has four goals and eight assists in 20 games. The key word is “unexpected,” so don’t expect to read about Patrik Laine or any of the Maple Leafs young forwards, the latter of whom have been written about enough. (Canadian Press)

— Mark Recchi will have to sell his “very, very, very, small” share in the Vegas Golden Knights. That’s because Recchi is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ player development coach, and owning a share of another NHL franchise would be a conflict of interest. According to ESPN’s business reporter, Darren Rovell, other minority owners of the expansion team include Rob Gronkowski, Jose Bautista, Prince Amukamara, Carol Alt, and Alexei Yashin. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

— The Golden Knights are hoping to be more successful than the Golden Seals. That shouldn’t be hard, given the Golden Seals were a total disaster. The Seals eventually moved to Cleveland, where things didn’t go much better. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

— Former NHL defenseman Ian White is on probation after pleading guilty to three firearms charges. The 32-year-old has also battled opiate addiction, though he maintains he’s been clean for six months. White last played in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings. It was not a good fit under Mike Babcock. (Winnipeg Sun)

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