San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns is slightly more than three-quarters of the way through a historic season that could put him in the same company of six Hall of Famers, including Bobby Orr, Eddie Shore and Chris Pronger.
“I’ve had the luxury of coaching some great players, but he’s having a historic-type year,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “I haven’t had a player like that, that I can remember. It’s great.”
Burns is NHL.com’s leader at the quarter pole in the race for the Hart Trophy, which has been won by six defensemen a total of 12 times since it was first awarded in 1924. Pronger (1999-2000) is the only defenseman to win the Hart since Orr won it three straight seasons from 1970-72.
Shore won the award four times in the 1930s. Fellow Hall of Famers Herb Gardiner (1926-27), Ebbie Goodfellow (1939-40) and Babe Pratt (1943-44) each won it once. Tom Anderson (1941-42) is the only defenseman not in the Hall of Fame to win the trophy.