The San Jose Sharks traded for the rights to defenseman Brad Stuart last week, obviously with the intention of signing him to a new deal and further shoring up their blue line. It would appear to be mission accomplished.
The Sharks have reportedly reached a nice extension to make sure Stuart suits back up for his first NHL team.
Stuart agrees to 3 year contract with Sharks at $3.6 per. Takes less to sign with a team that's a good fit.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 18, 2012
It was a nice addition for the Sharks in that they beat the rest of the teams to the punch in getting Stuart's rights for a prospect and conditional draft pick and then signing one of the better defensemen on the market to a very reasonable deal.
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Combine this with Monday's news that Barrett Jackman has re-signed with the Blues and, after Ryan Suter, there don't figure to be too many better defensive options, especially if you are of the mind that Matt Carle is going to remain in Philadelphia. That market is looking awfully thin right about now.
Stuart returns to San Jose with a little ability to score, having notched six goals and 15 assists for the Red Wings last season. He did all of that while playing 21:00 minutes on average per game in all but one of Detroit's 82 games last season.
At 32, he might not have a ton of time ahead of him, but at three years it's still a solid deal for a veteran d-man for the Sharks. I can imagine that if Stuart had made it to the open waters of free agency, he probably would have earned a little more money. In that regard you have to like the move for San Jose.
It continues a bit of an overhaul of the Sharks' defensive corps that began last season. That's when GM Doug Wilson went out and acquired Brent Burns from the Wild in exchange for Devin Setoguchi. Stuart and the likes of Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Burns, Justin Braun and Douglas Murray on defense for San Jose -- the look of a pretty solid group.
Then again, something has to give there with so many bodies back there. Kevin Kurz of CSN has an idea.
I still believe the Stuart deal means D. Murray won't be here next season. He won't be on PK, and is too expensive for 3rd pair. #SJSharks— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) June 18, 2012