Stuart Gets Wish and Heads to West Coast

It has been widely known that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart wanted to finish out his contract with Detroit and continue his career out west. He wanted to play on the west coast to be closer to his family located in California. He came to the Motor City at the 2008 trade deadline from Los Angeles for two draft picks. The Red Wings got the better end of the deal as Stuart won the Stanley Cup that season, reached game 7 of the Final the next and was arguably the third best blueliner on the team behind the newly retired Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall.

Stuart will now continue his career at a place where he spent the first six seasons of his career in San Jose. His rights were traded before it expired July 1 to the Sharks in exchange for forward Andrew Murray and a conditional 2014 draft pick. The Sharks now maintain the exclusive rights to negotiate a new contract with him until that time.

Last season, Stuart posted 21 points (6 goals, 15 assists) and was +16 during the regular season in 81 games for the Red Wings. He was first on the team in hits (177, T-16th among NHL defensemen) and second in blocked shots with 115.

Murray, signed by San Jose as a free agent on July 19, 2011, played in 39 games with the Sharks last season, posting four points (one goal, three assists).

This still leaves holes in the defensive corps for the Red Wings. In addition to Kronwall, under contract with the team next season is Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White and Jakub Kindl. Kyle Quincy is a restricted free agent.

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