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A bit more about Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart’s family situation

Red Wings fans have more or less figured out that the reason Brad Stuart’s family hasn’t moved to Detroit with him involves his step-daughter’s custody issues. Mrs. Stuart’s daughter from her previous marriage is 17 and, as far as those familiar with California law can surmise, the Stuarts would have to give up custody of said daughter, depending on the legalities involved, if Mrs. Stuart were to move out of either the State of California or just plain old move out of Ciera’s school district. That’s why Stuart has spent the last four years away from his wife, step-daughter and two young sons, and it’s why Stuart seems to be on the fence about re-signing with the Wings. The San Jose Mercury News’s David Pollak spoke to Stuart about his family situation while wondering aloud whether Stuart will return to the Sharks this summer:

One last thing from the Red Wing side of things — or at least something that starts there and could end up on the Sharks side of things. Brad Stuart let it be known several weeks ago that it was very unlikely he’d be back in Detroit next season after his contract expires. That’s because his wife and their three children have stayed in their Los Gatos home the last three seasons and that’s too much distance. I talked with him today and nothing’s changed on that front.

“It’s always going to be important,” he said of the need to play closer to the Bay Area. “It’s obviously something we’ve discussed, not just recently but for the last few years.”

That decision is an easy one to make, Stuart said, though he always qualifies his thoughts by saying how much he loves playing for the Red Wings. Distance is the only issue. Obviously the Sharks — where he started his career — would be the perfect landing spot at age 32. Is Stuart limiting his options to California? That could set up an interesting bidding war between Doug Wilson, who traded Stuart to Boston as part of the Joe Thornton deal, and Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who drafted Stuart.

“I’m not going to get specific on you, but it’s just hard to be so far,” Stuart said. “That’s all I know at this point.”

Stuart said his step-daughter is about to graduate [high school], but the first of his two boys, age 4 and 5, is about to enter kindergarten, and that would limit the back-and-forth trips his family has been able to make to Detroit over the past few years.

“It’s just hard to be so far,” the defenseman said.

We already know from Hakan Andersson told Expressen’s Linus Hugosson that the Wings acquired Kyle Quincey at the trade deadline because the team was unable to secure a contract extension with Stuart, who apparently wants to wait until at least after the playoffs to make his decision (and yes, if the Wings can’t sign him by the draft, especially given the fact that the “conditional” 7th round pick for Commodore may or may not involve him playing X number of regular season games, Y number of playoff games or even re-signing with Tampa to be given to Detroit at all, the Wings will pawn off Stuart’s signing rights)....

So here’s hoping that Stuart sticks it out for another season to remain in Detroit and then bring his family along once Ciera turns 18. I hope that his family gets to join him in what I believe is the bets hockey home for him as soon as humanly possible…But I won’t harbor any ill will toward him if he leaves.

 

 

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Comments

Avatar

Sounds like a really difficult situation for all involved.  I’ll be disappointed when/if Stuart doesn’t resign, but like you said, you can’t hold any ill will toward him if he leaves. Family is most important.

Posted by catswithbats on 03/17/12 at 07:21 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

If his step-daughter is 17 and about to graduate from high school which I’m guessing means she turns 18 in the not so distant future, then what exactly is the problem?  When she turns 18 she isn’t a minor anymore and should be able to move where she wants and I would assume would be going to college anyways.  Granted I don’t know jack about legal issues, but am I missing something here or wouldn’t the custody agreement be a moot point when she turns 18?  The school district thing sure can’t apple once she’s graduated…

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 03/17/12 at 07:39 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

He doesn’t seem to want to move around once his other child starts kindergarten and gets comfortable in his school, I think. That’s what it sounds like from the article to me.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 03/17/12 at 08:08 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Oonagi john.. sounds more lie his wife is unwilling to relocate their children to detroit bc anything else doesn’t make sense at this stage.. especially the stepdaughter situation bc its about to be a non issue and he STILL wont resign-

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/17/12 at 08:09 PM ET

Dynasty_1926's avatar

Pure speculation on my part but I believe the wifey is putting her foot down in this situation.

She’s probably originally from Cali and doesn’t wanna move to the D.  Hell, she’s got a grand life where its 70 and sunny everyday and I can hear it now… “it’s freezing cold there all the time and the crime is terrible.  Do you want this for our children?” well played mrs Stuart! Momma bear gets to soak up the rays in Cali for good.  She broke out the and will win admirably fellas

Posted by Dynasty_1926 on 03/17/12 at 09:07 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Pure speculation on my part but I believe the wifey is putting her foot down in this situation.

She’s probably originally from Cali and doesn’t wanna move to the D.  Hell, she’s got a grand life where its 70 and sunny everyday and I can hear it now… “it’s freezing cold there all the time and the crime is terrible.  Do you want this for our children?” well played mrs Stuart! Momma bear gets to soak up the rays in Cali for good.  She broke out the and will win admirably fellas

Let’s not villify her, either.  We have no reason to believe she’s Janet Gretzky here.  Even if she is the roadblock, as could be interpretted, there are many facets of their life we couldn’t begin to guess- does she live near parents, other family members? etc.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/17/12 at 11:14 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Or Mrs. Pronger.

I dunno what he or she is really thinking but the strain is taking its toll. I hope he can find a way to stay, because the Wings’ wives an girlfriends, quite frankly, are also incredibly supportive, as are the Ilitches when it comes to making sure that everybody’s family is OK and that their kids get the best of everything, but it sounds like he’s got one-and-a-half skates out the door.

What I do know about Mrs. Stuart is that she lives in San Jose because her family is there, and that seems to be the indication—that she’s been getting lots of help from Grandma, Grandpa, siblings, etc. I think the family is just as worried about what will happen if they take the kids out of that environment and bring them across the country to a place where they’re worried the kids will feel cut off/alone.

It’s a hard decision, regardless of the salary that one’s paid, and I’m glad that I’m not in his skates.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/17/12 at 11:33 PM ET

wedge56's avatar

Yeah that would suck to have to take care of your own kids in a place where your husband’s job makes him happy while he is making 7 figures a year.  Poor, poor…Mrs. Stuart.

Posted by wedge56 on 03/18/12 at 03:11 AM ET

Avatar

It’s definately Mrs. Yoko Stuart screwing things up

Posted by John on 03/19/12 at 02:36 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.