Who Gets Traded First: Ryan Getzlaf or Brent Burns

Welcome to another edition of 'Who Gets Traded First' where we examine two similar players from across the NHL and decide which one is more likely to change teams first. While it's not always players from the same team, division or conference, we dig deep into two players who have similarities, be it age, production, career path or their situation on their current team. 

Who Gets Traded First: 

Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks or Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks. 

On The Surface:
While Burns may appear to be the logical choice as he's still producing at a solid clip and holds more value on the trade market, his contract may in fact scare some teams away. Burns holds a cap hit of $8 million for the next five seasons, and it makes you wonder if a team is interested in having a near 40-year-old defenseman taking up $8 million on their cap.

Getzlaf, on the other hand, only has one-year left on his deal, where he'll account for a $8.25 million dollar cap hit. 

The kicker here, which actually boosts both players' trade value is the fact their cap hit is actually more than their actual cash they are due from the team. For Getzlaf, his $8.25 million cap hit is only $3 million in actual cash, after his upcoming signing bonus is paid by the Ducks. 

Meanwhile for Burns, his $8 million cap hit is only $2 million in cash this season, and including his signing bonus goes down to $5 million total for the final two years of his contract.

Even though Burns holds no-trade protection, he submits a list of only three teams he doesn't want to be traded to, which doesn't tie the hands of the Sharks at all. If they want to deal their smooth-skating right-handed defenseman, is another question, as given their recent additions, it appears the team is trying to win some games next season. For Getzlaf and the Ducks, he holds full no-trade protection, so any move has to have his sign-off. 

Survey Says:
Because of his limited no-trade protection, the market for right-handed defensemen, and the option to retain salary, Brent Burns is more likely to be traded first in this case. 

Ryan Getzlaf is likely to sign a short-term extension in Anaheim and finish his career in California.

Keep an eye on the wins column next year in San Jose. A struggling team could bring changes in the Shark Tank. One toothless bite at a time.

Photo credit: Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire