After he was traded to the Sharks in June, defenseman Brent Burns said he would be in no hurry to talk about a long-term contract with San Jose.

"Let's just see what happens this year," Burns had said.

But just weeks later, he agreed to a five-year extension for $28.8 million -- locking up what the Sharks see as the pivotal component in their offseason roster remodel.

So, what changed?

Burns visited San Jose with his wife and two young children.

"It was awesome," Burns said Monday. "We had a great time in the city. It was unbelievable how the organization treated us. It built an excitement in our family. So when they started talking about signing an extension, it really was a no-brainer for us."

The Sharks acquired the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Burns from Minnesota on June 24 for the stiff price of Devin Setoguchi, highly regarded prospect Charlie Coyle and their first-round pick in this year's draft. But general manager Doug Wilson believes Burns is a difference-maker who can improve a blue line that was in obvious need of upgrading.

Last season was a breakout year for the offensive-minded defenseman as Burns scored 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists), had 133 hits and was a first-time All-Star.

But trading for Burns, 26, also was a gamble. He was entering the final season on his existing contract, and there were no assurances that he would re-sign in San Jose after spending his entire career in Minnesota. The possibility had existed that he would be a very expensive, one-year rental.

Now, he's signed for the next six seasons.