Brent Burns trade grades: NHL experts lukewarm on Sharks' return

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Burns trade grades: NHL experts lukewarm on Sharks' return originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Sharks traded Brent Burns on Wednesday to the Carolina Hurricanes after the defenseman became a franchise icon over 11 years with the organization.

New general manager Mike Grier says it will have to be a "team effort" to replace Burns as the Sharks retool their roster. In return, San Jose received forward Steven Lorentz, goaltender Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 2023 third-round draft pick. The Sharks also will retain 34 percent of Burns' remaining salary for the remaining three years on his contract.

So of course with a blockbuster trade comes "trade grades" from various experts across the Internet.

How did the Sharks do? NHL writers from ESPN and The Athletic weighed in.

Greg Wyshynski, ESPN

Sharks: B; Hurricanes: A-

"The return for Burns is underwhelming, but it wasn't going to be anything but underwhelming. Burns is 37. He has a cap hit of $8 million. He has trade protection and had to accept a deal to the Hurricanes. The fact that novice GM Mike Grier found a way to get any of the team's overcompensated defensemen off the Sharks' cap is a win."

Sean Gentille, The Athletic

Sharks: C+; Hurricanes: A

"For the Sharks, it’s a pretty weak return, especially with the team retaining 33 percent, but it gets Burns off the books for three years. For a rebuilding team, I’m not sure why that was important, but hey – at least they got a conditional third and some guys out of it. Steven Lorentz is an OK bottom-six forward, but you’d expect a bit more going the other way for San Jose."

Dom Luszczyszyn, The Athletic

Sharks: C; Hurricanes: A

"For the Sharks, it’s a pretty weak return, especially with the team retaining 33 percent, but it gets Burns off the books for three years. For a rebuilding team, I’m not sure why that was important, but hey – at least they got a conditional third and some guys out of it. Steven Lorentz is an OK bottom-six forward, but you’d expect a bit more going the other way for San Jose."

Shayna Goldman, The Athletic

Sharks: C; Hurricanes: A-

"Sharks general manager Mike Grier did not enter an easy situation in San Jose considering their cap situation, but he’s kicking off his tenure with some impactful moves. They’re still on the hook for 33 percent of Burns’ salary and add some future assets that should help their rebuild, but the return still feels underwhelming. The real win for them is opening up some cap space to give them flexibility, and maybe this is an early lesson for Grier to not make the mistake of the previous regime of signing players to massive contracts that run way past a player’s prime."