Either way Brad Stuart was headed to San Jose. The Detroit Red Wings just managed to likely get a draft pick out of the situation.
The Wings traded Stuart’s rights to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.
Stuart, whose family lives year-round in San Jose, was prompted by family obligations to make the move. Stuart intended to sign with the Sharks on July 1 or remain with the Wings if that didn’t work out.
“It was clear what direction Stewie was leaning toward,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “He wanted to be closer to his family.”
“I’m real grateful to Kenny for doing this,” Stuart said. “It just shows what kind of organization the Wings are. This gives us some time to work something out.”
Stuart had some great times with the Wings, highlighted by a 2008 Stanley Cup championship just months after Detroit acquired him from Los Angeles.
“Great teammates, great organization, just a first-class place all the way around,” Stuart said. “I enjoyed my time there.”
Stuart’s departure, along with Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement on May 31, leaves a big hole in the Wings defense, one that they will have to address.
Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter looks to be the No. 1 target for teams.
“We’ll be active,” Holland said. “We’ve lost two quality defensemen.”