The Invincible M.A.E. (harleymae) wrote,
The Invincible M.A.E.

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Tati shuffled into my room this morning wrapped in her yellow blanket and crawled into bed, then started telling me about her dream where she told Timmy a joke and he laughed at it. This is her third dream about Timmy, haha. I'm not sure whether she actually dreams about him or if that's just what she associates dreams with. She never talks about dreaming about anything else. Her favourite song is "Bad Romance", which coincidentally is my favourite Lady Gaga song.

I may be exerting quite of a bit of influence on her. :P

So, now that I've settled down from the excitement for Heatley being traded, I'm getting excited about having Brent Burns and Marty Havlat. Surprisingly, I'm more excited about Burns than Marty! (From a hockey perspective) As a person, umm, Burns says a lot of inappropriate things about snakes.

New San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns is an animal (lover)
By Mark Emmons
Posted: 07/06/2011 03:01:50 PM PDT
Updated: 07/07/2011 07:40:15 AM PDT

Brent Burns, the Sharks' prized new defenseman, is in town this week getting the lay of the land and looking for a place to rent.

But while the Burns family is coming to San Jose, the Burns Zoo will be staying behind in Minnesota.

"I don't know how people would react with me moving into a rental house with 150 snakes," he said.

The Sharks got more than just a top young defenseman in a draft-night deal with the Minnesota Wild. They got one of hockey's more unconventional personalities.
A self-described "big kid," the 26-year-old, shaggy-haired Burns has tattoos all over his 6-foot-5, 220-pound body. He is also an animal lover who has a menagerie of dogs (two), exotic birds (three) and snakes and other reptiles (number uncertain) at his rural home outside St. Paul, Minn.

"It's probably a little higher than 150 right now because it's mating season," Burns said.

He could only laugh when asked why his personal jungle was lacking in lions, tigers and bears.

"I've always wanted a giraffe," he said, "but my wife said no."

Oh, my.

The Sharks gave up a king's ransom to get Burns -- Devin Setoguchi, top prospect Charlie Coyle and their first-round pick -- because they believe Burns will be a difference-maker on the blue line.

Burns is coming off a breakthrough season. The offensive-minded defenseman scored 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists), had 133 hits and was a first-time All-Star. For his career, he has 183 points in 453 games.

"And he's only getting better," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "He's also a character, and I think that's great."

Wilson added: "I honestly don't mind snakes."

Burns used to be deathly afraid of them.

Growing up about an hour outside of Toronto, Burns always loved going to zoos and had a soft spot for most creatures -- just not the slithering sort. Then, about five years ago, he decided on a whim to buy some snakes to overcome that fear.

"It's grown from there," Burns said. "I just like handling them. They're pretty amazing animals. I love feeding them and watching what they can do with their bodies."

He has pythons that grow to about four feet in length and said he hasn't been bitten by any of his fanged friends in about three years.

"Most of my snakes are pretty docile," he added. "They're a great pet for kids because there's not all that much responsibility in taking care of them."

Burns and his wife, Susan, have a 15-month-old daughter named Peyton and newborn son Jagger. (Yes, as in Mick.) He wants his kids to be around the snakes enough so that as they get older, they don't have the same terror of them as he once did.

This might be a good time to mention that the snakes and lizards are kept behind two locked doors in what was designed as a bomb shelter.

"Even if a lizard got out and somehow opened up 100 other cages, they can't get out of the room," Burns said.

Obviously, it takes an extraordinary wife to deal with so much wildlife.

"And she has to put up with me, too," Burns said.

Burns always has marched to a different beat. Former Minnesota teammate Brian Rolston once compared the Burns brand of goofiness to Sharks captain Joe Thornton.

"They're happy-go-lucky guys," Rolston told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2007. "You can call them ditsy almost. It's a good way to be in this sport, because a lot of times, you put too much pressure on yourself and it's a detriment."

It helps explain the tattoos. Burns has nine -- and counting. He got his first at age 11 -- a Canadian flag and hockey stick on his right shoulder. There's a dragon on his left thigh, and on his back is the word "Wild" surrounded by images of his animals.

"I was joking around that now I'm going to get shark gills on my neck, and my wife put the kibosh on that pretty quick," he added.

The tattoo on his left shoulder has special meaning. Featuring a cross with a Canadian military helmet on top, it honors his late grandfather, who served in World War II. From him, Burns gained a love of history and a respect for people in the service. That's why he bought an arena suite so armed forces members and their families could attend Minnesota Wild home games.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan knows all about Burns' game because he helped develop him in the Wild's minor league system. McLellan describes him as a "hybrid defenseman" who is both skillful with the puck and has some grit.

One person particularly unhappy about Burns joining the Sharks is Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.

"They just hit a home run," Babcock told the Hockey News. "That's a gold-medal pick. I'm pissed off."

Burns is in the final year of his contract, and that's part of the reason he's looking only to rent in San Jose next season. The Sharks hope to sign him to a long-term extension, and trading Dany Heatley has created some cap space.

For now, though, the focus is on the coming season.

"I'm excited to be going to a great team in an awesome city," Burns said. "We'll see what happens this year. I haven't thought much about it. I'm completely open to listening to what they say."

As far as Burns can see, there's only one downside to the trade.

"It's going to be weird not being able to go downstairs and do all the snake stuff," he said.

In 2007, Brian Rolston compared Burns to Joe Thornton saying that they're both ditzy haha. And uhh... what exactly does Burns do with his snakes?
"It's probably a little higher than 150 right now because it's mating season," Burns said.
-- uhh, which he knows because he... watches them?
"It's grown from there," Burns said. "I just like handling them. They're pretty amazing animals. I love feeding them and watching what they can do with their bodies."
"It's going to be weird not being able to go downstairs and do all the snake stuff," he said.
-- Yes, I can see how it would be weird not to go play with your snakes in the middle of the night.

Burns Family Sees San Jose
Brent Burns Takes In The Bay Area
Sunday, 07.10.2011 / 2:30 AM / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
This week, Brent Burns picked up his family and headed west to California, beginning preparations on a new chapter in their lives.

“We came in Wednesday and we’re leaving Sunday,” Burns stated after a long day of house hunting. “Just getting to see the lay of the land and try to see where places are and where we’ll live next year. Trying to get a little bit of the comfort level for the family.”

The good news was Burns and his family liked what they saw on their initial trip to their new home.

“I got to meet a lot of people and from the first glance, it’s been great,” Burns began. “They’ve made this stress free and it’s been a great experience.”

Burns entire professional hockey career had been spent in the Twin Cities, but he is amped up to be playing for a title contender in San Jose. His brief time here has given him some insight into the Sharks organization.

“We’re super excited to come to a great city and a great team,” Burns said. “Everybody that we’ve met has been awesome, including the people in the city. It’s been a fun little trip for our family and we’re looking forward to coming back.”

Burns took some time to get acclimated with some new teammates during his stay, in addition to the front office staff.

“Patty and Boyler,” Burns said of the Sharks players who were around. “Obviously Todd and Doug.”

Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson handles the talent acquisitions for San Jose and leaves the coaching to bench boss Todd McLellan, but McLellan was an AHL coach of Burns and there is no doubt he provided his stamp of approval. The pair got to catch up a bit, although it’s not like they haven’t seen each other since their Houston days.

“I still see him once in a while when we would play the Sharks and we’d say hi,” Burns said. “It’s not as drastic of a time away as everybody would think.”

The new Shark even mixed in some business on the fact finding mission, learning training staff’s workout regime.

“I’ve been working out with Mike Potenza the last two days,” Burns said.

It wasn’t all business though.

“This was a pretty laid back trip,” Burns said. “We’ve been to some nice dinners. Went to a great spot in Los Gatos and had a nice dinner at Santana Row. It’s a great area. It’s been a good little family vacation.”

Like all new Sharks players, Burns was definitely attracted to sun shining with no humidity paired with it.

“It’s unbelievable weather,” Burns said. “That’s the first thing you notice, and there are beautiful views.”

The views include the mountains, which will play into another specialty for Burns.

“I’m a huge biker,” Burns noted. “I can’t wait to get my bikes down here. I do both (mountain and road). I played with (Owen) Nolan in Minnesota and he rode quite a bit and he lives here. I’ll drag him out on the road.”

The return trip to Silicon Valley will be for the long haul.

“I’ll be back in early August to get working out and get comfortable,” Burns said.

He will unfortunately be without his pet snakes that have become synonymous with him thanks to an online episode of a show called SnakeBytes TV (and we’re sure the people at Shark Byte are already all over the possibilities).

“I’m not going to bring them in, it’s going to be tough to leave them,” Burns admitted. “It’s something people are pretty interested in and it’s one of my passions. I love spending time with them.”

It sounds like he’s going to love spending time in San Jose, even if he’s without his reptile friends.

Patty I expected to be in the Bay Area given his wife is from here and really who wants to spend the summer in Aneroid, Saskatchewan? But Dan Boyle! I thought he would have been back in Ottawa.

And biking with Owen Nolan! That's kind of cute and creepy at the same time. And look, another snake quote:
“I’m not going to bring them in, it’s going to be tough to leave them,” Burns admitted. “It’s something people are pretty interested in and it’s one of my passions. I love spending time with them.”

I don't know, I'm not much for schticks like that (the tattoos, the menagerie) so we'll see if he grows on me as a person. I'm just terribly excited about him as a hockey player. For the first time watching the Sharks I'll like the D as a whole!

There hasn't been as much Marty stuff. I haven't been looking very hard but I think he's fucking around in Europe. I'm sure we'll see more of it when the season starts. I'm a bit more reserved in my excitement about getting Marty. I have some issues with his personality (some of which manifests as things like... kicking), but I think he's a big game guy, someone capable of elevating and taking over a game, and he more than replaces the attitude we lost with Devin.

That's why the Heatley trade devastated me to the point I didn't enjoy watching hockey for half the season. We had lost both Cheech and Milan to get someone who was going to suck up cap space and not deliver in a big game or make things happen or elevate in the playoffs, which was supposedly the kind of thing the team needed. It's not even about hating him (which I did even before he killed anyone :P) - I hated Joe Thornton when we traded for him and I didn't have a problem with the trade because I knew he was a great player and we got him for a steal - it was about acquiring an expensive player who wouldn't live up to his salary. You pay that money for game changers and he isn't one--he's a supporting player.

Anyway, thanks to Team USA and JMFJ (LOL forever), I got back to enjoying hockey, although Heatley was still like that piece of shrapnel embedded in your body that hurts on a low level all the time, and now it's gooooooone! ♥

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