Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Date: June 24, 2011
The Trade: Burns traded from Minnesota Wild with 2012 second-round pick to San Jose Sharks for RW Devin Setoguchi, F Charlie Coyle and 2011 first-round pick (C Zack Phillips)
In the summer of 2011, the Wild sought to make over their team with fresh faces and a new offensive approach. The acquisitions of Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi from San Jose in separate trades were a big part of the makeover, and it was believed that Minnesota would have to sacrifice some talent in order to get quality assets in return.
Brent Burns was a fan favorite, a larger-than-life character with a reliable presence on the blue line. Fans were sad to see him go, but pleased with the spoils.
The jury is still out on Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips, who are both with the AHL Houston Aeros this year, but Setoguchi has been a bit of a disappointment. He failed to crack the 20-goal mark and the Wild experienced a drastic freefall in the second half of the season to finish 12th in the Western Conference.
Ryan Suter may have been a prized free-agent signing this summer, but considering his contract, most Wild fans would likely prefer to have Burns' comparatively reasonable five-year, $5.7 million cap hit on the books instead.
Honorable Mention: Marian Gaborik
He wasn't traded, but to let a superstar of Gaborik's caliber go as an unrestricted free agent was the biggest player personnel loss in the Wild's history.
General manager Doug Risebrough gambled that the Wild could make the playoffs in 2009 by keeping Gaborik. They ended up in ninth place in the Western Conference, and Risebrough paid with his job. That summer, Gaborik signed a $37.5 million deal over five years with the New York Rangers.