Page 3 of 3 Previous

Continued: Brent Burns, Wild thing

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 15, 2007 - 9:39 PM

"I only dropped the gloves because a guy in the second row yelled, 'Fight him! Fight him!'" Burns said.

Asked if he watches the fights on YouTube, Burns said: "Oh, yeah, I check them out. My best buddy back home, we call him Johnny Drama, is always chirping me about not fighting. So I called him right away and said, 'Get on YouTube!' I should have done this my first year. It took me four years to drop my purse. I'm not scared of it anymore."

The brouhahas just added to the high regard fans have for him.

"He's so modest, but I see it in the stands," Susan said. "I'll be like, 'Did you see all the Burns jerseys in the stands and did you hear all the people yelling to get Burnzie on the ice?' He'll be like, 'Yeah, right.'"

Still, it's safe to say coach Jacques Lemaire would rather see Burns on the ice than in the penalty box. Slow to develop because the Wild bounced him between wing and the blue line, Burns is finally cemented on the blue line, and there are high expectations of him after coming into his own last season (seven goals, plus-16).

With size, speed, range, hockey sense and a sizzling wrist shot, Burns has the ability to be a top defenseman for years.

"My first couple years, it was, 'I hope I'm not minus-2 tonight,'" Burns said. "Now, it's, 'I'm going to smoke that guy, play a good game and make a difference.' Before it was like, 'Maybe I'll get to line up against [Mark] Messier today.' Now, it's, 'I'm going to take the puck off Messier and not give him anything.'

"I think it's just growing as a player and a person. Butchy [Bouchard] was a [productive] player right away at a young age. Me and Butchy, we're really good friends but totally different. I'm goofier. He's really organized. He would never forget anything. I miss appointments all the time. Now I'm getting more like that. It's business now."

And still, with a smile on his face. Nobody has more fun at the rink. In a lot of ways, Burns is the electricity in the locker room, reminding the veterans that it's a whole lot more fun playing hockey for a living than punching a time clock every day.

"There's something about that breed," Rolston said. "Joe Thornton had it, too. They're happy-go-lucky guys. 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.

"But Burnzie is a guy that loves coming to the rink, a guy always joking around in the locker room, a guy always having fun. And even cooler, he's making some big strides.

"I believe he has the tools to be a Norris Trophy candidate, I really do, with a little more maturity. If he can put it all together, and he will, I believe he's that good."

Michael Russo • mrusso@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Johnsson says pain didn't last long

    Saturday September 15, 2007

    Kim Johnsson is healthy and symptom-free.Sure, the Wild made it sound five months ago like the veteran defenseman would be...

  • It's not too early to grab attention

    Friday September 14, 2007

    The Wild hit the Xcel ice flying and, mixed in with the expected, one holdover stood out from the crowd in his bid to become a regular.

  • Hirsch starting over at highest level

    Saturday September 15, 2007

    Former Gophers forward Tyler Hirsch is trying out with his hometown team.

  • WILD 07-08 TRAINING CAMP

    Tuesday: Exhibition opener, vs. Detroit, 7 p.m., Xcel Energy Center.• Season opener: Oct. 4 vs. Chicago

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 71 4th Qtr 12:00
Orlando 75
Indiana 53 3rd Qtr 10:18
Detroit 61
Milwaukee 58 3rd Qtr
Atlanta 42
Houston 32 2nd Qtr 8:03
Memphis 43
San Antonio 32 2nd Qtr 5:56
New Orleans 32
Charlotte 30 2nd Qtr 7:41
Oklahoma City 47
LA Lakers 5 1st Qtr 7:24
Dallas 14
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Denver
Philadelphia 9:00 PM
Portland
Phoenix 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 7 2nd Qtr 14:32
UCF 3
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 12/27/14 1:10 PM
Duke
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close