Brent Burns, Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes’ Burns Looks to Break Franchise Scoring Record…Again

The Carolina Hurricanes over the last few years have given themselves a reputation for having one of the best defenses in the league. Whether that be offensively or defensively, maybe a mix of both, the Hurricanes know how to unlock the potential that players did not know they had. Either from a younger player or even a seasoned veteran, Carolina knows how to make their defensemen better. When it comes to Brent Burns, they recaptured the magic that made him one of the best offensive defensemen in the league.

Going into the 2022-23 season, Tony DeAneglo held the most points by a Hurricanes defenseman in one season with 51 points. He accomplished that feat the season before tallying 10 goals and 41 assists in 64 games played. However, Burns broke that record last season with 61 points in 82 games played. He accumulated 18 goals and 43 assists in the process. What makes it interesting is that he accomplished that after a slow start. If he can manage to start the upcoming 2023-24 season off strong, who is to say he can’t break his own record?

If He Did It Once, He Can Do It Again

During the 2022-23 season, Burns had one of the best seasons points-wise for any defenseman in Hurricanes history. While managing to play the entire season, he went on to finish as previously mentioned with 61 points in 82 games played. It took him until Oct. 17 to get his first points and Oct. 28 to score his first goal. The slow start did kind of hurt Burns but once he got going, there was no stopping him. He went on to score 18 goals last season, one behind Brady Skjei who had 19. Burns last season was also a part of the Hurricanes’ defense that as a whole set the franchise record for goals with 59, which also led the league.

Brent Burns Carolina Hurricanes
Brent Burns, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If Burns can manage a stronger start to the season and keep the pace he had last season, there is a possibility he could finish between 65 to 70 points. He gets ample playing time at even strength and on special teams, mainly the powerplay. While being paired with one of the best defensive defensemen in the league, Jaccob Slavin, he manages to score at will from anywhere on the ice.

Related: Hurricanes Starting to Get the Brent Burns They Sought

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Burns being able to quarterback the first powerplay unit, is able to get shots on the net from the blue line to either score or set up teammates to get the assist. He has a hockey IQ to read plays beforehand and set up teammates for rebounds or give them great passes for opportunities to score. That is what makes him a former Norris Trophy winner and a player who has 838 points in his career. While 593 of those are assists, he knows how to put the puck into the net.

As mentioned before, if he can start off hot for Carolina to start the season, he has the chance to break the record he set last season. However, he could potentially have some competition this season with DeAngelo being back on the team and possibly quarterbacking the second powerplay unit. The guys who set the record over the last two seasons could give Hurricanes fans a fun battle to watch to see who leads the defensemen in points along with possibly going for the points record.

Burns is entering the second to last season of his eight-year, $64 million deal that he signed with the San Jose Sharks back in November 2016. His $8 million average annual value takes up 10.96 percent of the Hurricanes’ cap space and there is a possibility Carolina won’t extend him when his deal ends at age 39. Also, his contract has a three-team trade list for his modified trade clause. In any case, Burns will most likely finish his contract with Carolina and have the chance to break the defenseman points record a couple of more times.

He showed last season that he could make it happen after tallying 128 points in 208 games played in his last three seasons with the Sharks. In 2022-23, Burns managed to get over 60 points for the first time since the 2018-19 season where he had 83. The last three seasons saw a dip before he regained his scoring touch in Carolina.

It would come as no shock to anyone if Burns breaks the record again this season. He just needs to get off to a fast start unlike last season and if that happens, 70 points could be in the cards for the former Norris Trophy winner.

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