Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Farewell, Brad Stuart: Red Wings trade him to San Jose for Andrew Murray

Updated 3x: Yes, even though Brendan Smith will slot into the lineup, the Wings will obviously go after 2 UFA d-men now: Well now, per the Red Wings’ Twitter account, the Wings have traded Brad Stuart’s rights to the San Jose Sharks for a conditional draft pick and the rights to Andrew Murray, a depth forward who may or may not be signed as a call-up:

TRANSACTION: The rights to defenseman Brad Stuart have been traded to San Jose for a conditional pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
...
TRADE: The rights to defenseman Brad Stuart have been traded to San Jose for Andrew Murray and a conditional pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
...
Both Brad Stuart and Andrew Murray are scheduled to become UFA’s on July 1.

Murray is a 30-year-old center and unrestricted free agent-to-be who earned $575,000 on a 2-way deal with the Sharks this past season, playing in 39 NHL games (and registering 1 goal and 3 assists) for the Sharks and 2 goals and an assist in 10 games for the Worchester Sharks. The Sports Forecaster describes the 6’2,” 210-pound center as follows:

ASSETS: Has the size and strength scouts look for and can play all three forward positions. Owns good defensive ability and the possibility of shutting down scoring pivots.

FLAWS: Doesn’t have the requisite offensive skills to play a top-six forward role in the NHL. Is inconsistent in all facets of the game.

CAREER POTENTIAL: Versatile depth forward.


Here’s San Jose’s press release regarding Stuart:

SAN JOSE, California – San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Brad Stuart from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Andrew Murray and a conditional draft selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Stuart is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Sharks now maintain the exclusive rights to negotiate a new contract with him until that time.

“We are very happy to acquire Brad’s rights prior to July 1 and are hopeful that we come to an agreement on a new contract,” said Wilson. “Brad is a player we are very familiar with – a physical, team-first defenseman who is tough to play against, which is exactly the kind of mentality we want our team to possess.”

Stuart, 32, has spent the last four-plus seasons with the Red Wings. Acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 26, 2008, Stuart made back-to back appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals with Detroit in 2008 and 2009, including winning the Stanley Cup in 2008.

Last season, Stuart posted 21 points (6 goals, 15 assists) and was +16 in 81 regular season games for the Red Wings. He was first on the team in hits (177, T-16th among NHL defensemen) and second in blocked shots (115) and played in his 800th career NHL game on Oct. 21, 2011 vs. Columbus.

The 13-year NHL veteran has appeared in 876 career regular season games with San Jose, Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit, amassing 305 points (74 goals, 231 assists) and 489 penalty minutes.

He also added 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists) in 124 career playoff games with San Jose, Calgary and Detroit.

Originally drafted by San Jose in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft (first round, third overall), Stuart immediately made the jump to the NHL for the Sharks. The Rocky Mountain House, Alberta native posted 36 points (ten goals, 26 assists) in 82 games as a 20-year-old rookie, becoming the first Sharks defenseman to be named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and finishing second in Calder Memorial Trophy voting as the NHL’s top rookie.

The six-foot-two, 215-pounder played in 377 games with San Jose between 1999 and 2005, posting 153 points (36 goals, 117 assists). He was traded to Boston along with Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau in exchange for current Sharks captain Joe Thornton on Nov. 30, 2005.

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).

Update: Here’s the Wings’ press release, from John Hahn...

Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the club has traded the rights for defenseman Brad Stuart to the San Jose Sharks. In return, the Red Wings received a conditional seventh round pick in the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft and forward Andrew Murray from the Sharks.

Both Stuart and Murray are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Originally San Jose’s first round selection (3rd overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Stuart played five seasons for the Red Wings. He was acquired by Detroit from the Los Angeles Kings on February 26, 2008 for the Wings second round pick in 2008 and fourth round pick in 2009.

And as DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose notes, Stuart wanted to play closer to home:

Stuart’s desire to return to California where he’s been raising a young family, including a step-daughter who will be entering her senior year of high school in the fall, has been a big issue for him.

In April, as the Wings cleaned out their locker room at Joe Louis Arena, Stuart spoke candidly about the last four years in Detroit, his teammates, the organization, his hockey future, and his desire to be closer to his family, including two young sons, Jake and Logan.

Since the Wings acquired Stuart in a trade from Los Angeles late in the 2007-08 season he has regularly made trips home to San Jose, even if that meant seeing his wife Melissa and the kids for only a day before rejoining the team.

“There were times if we had a Sunday off and didn’t play again until Wednesday, they’d let me take Sunday and Monday off so I’d go home Sunday, come back Monday night, miss a practice,” Stuart said. “Now flying in for a day is some times worse than not coming at all because they get all emotional. I made it through the last few years. It’ll be a decision we have to make whether we can do it again.”

During his time with the Wings, which includes winning the Stanley Cup in 2008, Stuart has been a steady contributor on the blue line and an exceptional defender on the penalty kill. Partners with Niklas Kronwall for much of his time, there’s no doubt that Stuart will be missed. He produced 16 goals and 62 assists with a plus-11 rating in 306 games with the Wings.

But it’s hard to blame a man for wanting to be with his family.

“Yeah, if it was a purely hockey decision, I would stay,” Stuart said. “But I’ve got other things to consider and other factors other than just hockey.”

Stuart’s trade, coupled with Nicklas Lidstrom’s decision to retire after a 20-season career, leaves the Wings with two defensemen – Kronwall and Ian White – who have played more than 400 NHL games. However, the Wings also have Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith under contract for next season.

Veteran Kyle Quincey can become a restricted free agent next month.

Via Paul, here’s the AP’s initial story about the trade:

The San Jose Sharks are bringing back former high draft pick Brad Stuart in a deal with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Sharks announced Sunday they acquired the defenceman from Detroit for forward Andrew Murray and a conditional 2014 draft pick.

Stuart is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson says he is hopeful he can sign Stuart to a new contract later this month, which would mean the Red Wings would receive a seventh round draft pick in 2014.

Stuart was drafted third overall by San Jose in 1998 before being traded to Boston in 2005 as part of a package for Joe Thornton. Stuart later played for Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit, winning a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.

The 32-year-old Stuart had six goals and 15 assists in 81 games last season.


Update #2: MLive’s Brendan Savage confirms…

The Detroit Red Wings have traded free-agent defenseman Brad Stuart to the San Jose Sharks for center Andrew Murray and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2014, the club announced today. Stuart and Murray are both set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Stuart was expected to leave the Red Wings in order to sign with a team based in California, where his family has lived since Stuart was traded from Los Angeles to Detroit on Feb. 26, 2008. Murray (6-2, 218) split last season between San Jose and Worchester of the AHL. In 39 games with the Sharks, he had one goal, three assists and four PIM. In 10 games with Worchester, he had one goal and two assists.

Murray, 30, is a five-year veteran who was the Columbus Blue Jackets’ eighth-round pick (242nd overall) in the 2001 Entry Draft.Stuart’s family remained in California because of a custody issue involving his step-daughter.

San Jose was believed to be the front-runner to acquire Stuart’s services when he hits the free-agent market.

In San Jose, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Stuart will reunited with head coach Todd McLellan, who was an assistant in Detroit when Stuart helped the Red Wings win the 2008 Stanley Cup. McLellan was named the Sharks’ head coach in June 2008.
...
Murray (6-2, 218) split last season between San Jose and Worchester of the AHL. In 39 games with the Sharks, he had one goal, three assists and four PIM. In 10 games with Worchester, he had one goal and two assists.

Murray, 30, is a five-year veteran who was the Columbus Blue Jackets’ eighth-round pick (242nd overall) in the 2001 Entry Draft.

As does the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness...

The Wings have traded the rights to defenseman Brad Stuart to San Jose for a conditional seventh round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and forward Andrew Murray from the Sharks.

Both Stuart and Murray are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

More details to follow.


The Free Press’s Helene St. James...

According to the Detroit Red Wings’ Twitter account, the team has dealt defenseman Brad Stuart to the San Jose Sharks for forward Andrew Murray and a conditional pick in next year’s draft.

  TRADE: The rights to defenseman Brad Stuart have been traded to San Jose for Andrew Murray and a conditional pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
  — Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) June 10, 2012

Stuart, 32, had played in Detroit for the last 4 1/2 seasons after he was traded from L.A. He played in all but one game last season, scoring six goals and 15 assists. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and it was widely reported he desired to play in California, where his family lives.

Murray, 29, is also an unrestricted free agent. He played just 39 games for the Sharks last season and also spent time in the AHL with the Worcester Sharks. He had a goal and three assists in 39 NHL games in 2011-12


Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area’s...

The Sharks acquired defenseman Brad Stuart from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Andrew Murray and a conditional draft selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the club announced today.

Stuart is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Sharks now maintain the exclusive rights to negotiate a new contract with him until that time.

“We are very happy to acquire Brad’s rights prior to July 1 and are hopeful that we come to an agreement on a new contract,” said Wilson.  “Brad is a player we are very familiar with – a physical, team-first defenseman who is tough to play against, which is exactly the kind of mentality we want our team to possess.”

And the Mercury News’s David Pollak:

The Sharks have acquired the rights to Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart, setting up the possibility that San Jose’s first-round draft pick in 2003 will be able to end his NHL career where it began.

Stuart, 32, said several months ago that he wanted to re-locate to the West Coast after his current contract expires on June 30 because he wanted to be closer to his wife and children, who have remained in the San Jose area. He stressed that he loved his time in Detroit, where he helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2008, but family was a higher priority.

Center Andrew Murray, who played 39 games for San Jose last season before being sent to the minors, goes to Detroit in the deal. If the Sharks do sign Stuart, Detroit also will receive a seventh-round pick in 2014.

A left-handed shot, Stuart would likely be a Top Four defenseman with the Sharks.

“Brad is a player we are very familiar with — a physical, team-first defenseman who is tough to play against, which is exactly the kind of mentality we want our team to possess,” said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson in a prepared statement.

Stuart had 36 goals and 117 assists in 377 games as a Shark before being traded to the Boston Bruins on Nov. 30, 2005, as part of the deal that brought Joe Thornton to San Jose. Since then, he also has had short stints with the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames, before landing in Detroit at the 2008 trade deadline.

Stuart had six goals and 15 assists in 81 games with Detroit last season.

Update #3: Per MLive’s Ansar Khan...

Wings have no plans for Murray. Sharks needed to unload a player to stay at the 50-man roster limit.

And ESPN’s Craig Custance:

Red Wings with a couple holes to fill on defense. If they can’t get Suter, don’t be surprised if they make push for Carle and Salvadore.

 

Update #4: Looks like the Sharks are already holding a presser, per CSN Bay Area’s Brodie Brazil:

GM Wilson on Stuart: “physical, team-first D, tough to play against, which is exactly the kind of mentality we want our team to possess.”
...
Stuart: “At this point in my career, i want to be on a winning team, a team that contends… family to consider also” #sjsharks
...
Stuart: “It would be nice if this (San Jose) is the final destination” #sjsharks
...
Stuart on differences since he left #sjsharks: “Focus has changed, taking pride in being physical & effective” More defensive emphasis now.
...
Stuart says he learned a lot from playing with Lidstrom, he can pass it along to younger players today: “setting an example”. #sjsharks
...
Stuart on making the deal before July 1st: “I’d like to”. #sjsharks
...
Stuart: times during the year he was away from his family & thoughts of coming back to #sjsharks entered his mind

Update #4.5: I don’t buy this, from the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons:

With Nick Lidstrom retired and BradStuart gone, if I’m Justin Schultz I’m thinking Detroit might be the perfect place for young Dman to play
...
If Suter and Parise are free agents, just about every NHL team will make an offer. Same with J Schultz. Getting him is like free 1st rd pick

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

jimathor's avatar

Well, can’t say it wasn’t expected. Nice to get a little something out of the deal as well, not that it matters greatly. Thanks for everything Stuie. Now, Suter who?

Posted by jimathor from The land of Sir Humblepatch of Bumblehound on 06/10/12 at 06:26 PM ET

Avatar

I’m assuming that Murray either hits the market or plays in GR but still, yay, another bottom-six forward to throw on the pile!!!!!

Posted by Garth on 06/10/12 at 06:28 PM ET

Avatar

It’s ad that Stuey leaves and strengthens the Sharks at the same time, but I guess this was expected. 

I got no problem with Kenny getting started early this summer!

Posted by Ghost of lebda on 06/10/12 at 06:34 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Bye Disco Stu.  Helluva warrior.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 06/10/12 at 06:36 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Khan says that the Wings won’t re-sign Murray, and, very obviously, even with Smith slotting into the lineup, we’ve got Kronwall, White, Ericsson, Quincey, Kindl and Smith as our top six, which means that the Wings are guaranteed to go after a top-pair defenseman and then probably a second pair guy like, as Crag Custance suggests above, a Salvador. Or Jackman?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/10/12 at 06:48 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Khan’s information that the Sharks are at the 50-man limit doesn’t agree with Capgeek’s depth chart on the Sharks, which is already showing the players with their new teams, but has the Sharks at 49 men.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/10/12 at 06:49 PM ET

Avatar

That deal was kind of a giveaway ... but Stuart should be used to those. I don’t know if Stuart will be a cornerstone for the Sharks but he can certainly be a pylon.

Posted by Edd from Wauseon, OH on 06/10/12 at 07:02 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Largely getting a conditional draft pick for free.  Stuart was gone on July 1 anyway.

Good luck to him.  He was unselfish, solidly positioned and frequently in place to sweep out pucks lying around the crease.  Seems like just last year when we picked him up.  Unfortunate his family issues never allowed them moving to Detroit when the kids were younger.

Good luck Stuie.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/10/12 at 07:10 PM ET

pilgrim's avatar

I’m honestly a little surprised Kenny got anything out of this deal.

Where did Stuart want to go? San Jose.
Who wanted to sign him? San Jose.
Both of these were pretty clear.

Wilson could have easily waited till July 1 to easier snag Stuart for nothing. Instead, Kenny convinced him to hand over a 7th round pick and a nameless plug just to ensure the inevitable. Seems pretty good to me.

Posted by pilgrim from the ice at the bottom of the world on 06/10/12 at 07:19 PM ET

Paul's avatar

via David Pollak tweets after speaking with Stuart…

“I don’t know if it’s going to be my final NHL contarct, but I hope it is my final destination.”

Stuart on parting with Red Wings: “I’m a better player because of my time there.” If no deal cut w/#Sjsharks, he says he’d consider return.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/10/12 at 07:21 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Sorry, folks, my crappy-ass ISP just commercial out…I will update this post as soon as I am able…but that might be two or three hours from now.

In the end, this isn’t as much a hockey deal as it is getting a draft pick out of repaying Stuart for his loyalty to the Wings. Obviously the Wings now need to sign a top our defenseman *and* a second pair guy, even with Quincey and Smith in the fold, but there are good second pair guys available on the UFA market.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/10/12 at 07:27 PM ET

Paul's avatar

St. James says Wings not interested in signing Murray, was a throw-in on the deal.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/10/12 at 07:29 PM ET

Avatar

would have been better if it was Douglas Murray but hey, we got a low draft choice for a player that was leaving anyways.

Good luck to you Stewie and thanx for all the excellent hockey you played while you were a Red Wing. We fans deeply appreciate it.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 06/10/12 at 07:40 PM ET

Avatar

Wilson could have easily waited till July 1 to easier snag Stuart for nothing.

True, but locking him up before July 1 gives Wilson an idea of what he’ll have to work with come July 1 when he tries to fill other holes.

Posted by Garth on 06/10/12 at 07:43 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

True, but locking him up before July 1 gives Wilson an idea of what he’ll have to work with come July 1 when he tries to fill other holes.

Posted by Garth on 06/10/12 at 05:43 PM ET

Even better for Wilson if he does it before the draft.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/10/12 at 07:49 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Crag Custance suggests above, a Salvador. Or Jackman?

Not a Fan of either of them or Custance but there are others out there that can be 2nd pairing.

Hudler and Homer will be next to leave, IMO

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/10/12 at 07:55 PM ET

Avatar

Hudler and Homer will be next to leave, IMO

Hudler’s gone, they’re not going to offer him anything before July 1st.

Posted by Garth on 06/10/12 at 08:17 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I wish Brad all that best.  It just sucks that San Jose is getting something great for nothing.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/10/12 at 09:06 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Good luck Stewie. He performed the job expected of him which was a 3-4 defensman.
The one thing I don’t like about this trade is that some leverage is lost with replacing some d-men. Tick tock could have told potential free agents Stuart is still in the plans which could have possibly lowered money offers due to the lowered demand to find replacements. Any thoughts on this?

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 06/10/12 at 11:24 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Unlike most everyone else, I look at Stuart’s time with teams other than Detroit and I see a guy who was asked to be all things to all people.  He was much better as a Red Wing because they simplified his game to being a very good hard nosed stay at home guy. 

I assume that McLellan is smart enough not to give in to the temptation to use Stuart as a go to offensive defenseman, but maybe he isn’t?

I also felt that Stewie’s play fell off a whole lot this past year.  He did not look like he was a top four guy many, many nights. 

We will see what we will see.  The fact is he is gone and we can all look back on the time he was with Detroit and remember him as a fine team player.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 06/11/12 at 01:08 AM ET

Avatar

I was really hoping Stuart could make it work for another season in the D. Too bad.. however he deserves to go “home”. Ryan Suter take note, the Wings treat our players right no matter the circumstances, come fill our vacancy

Posted by holdt on 06/11/12 at 01:34 AM ET

Avatar

A conditional draft choice. What are the conditions? If Stuart gives the puck away more than 15 times this next season, has it taken way more than 10 times and deflects or knocks the puck into his own net more than 6 times ... then the Wings don’t get anything?

Posted by Edd from Wauseon, OH on 06/11/12 at 01:35 AM ET

Avatar

A conditional draft choice. What are the conditions? If Stuart gives the puck away more than 15 times this next season, has it taken way more than 10 times and deflects or knocks the puck into his own net more than 6 times ... then the Wings don’t get anything?

Posted by Edd from Wauseon, OH on 06/11/12 at 01:38 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I am writing a follow-up entry right now. It should be up in 90 minutes or less. I’m sorry about the loss of internet service.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/11/12 at 02:10 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

That’s okay George, no one in their right mind is up at this hour to read anyway, it’s even late on the west coast.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/11/12 at 03:25 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Bye, Stu. 

downer

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/11/12 at 10:31 AM ET

SYF's avatar

The hits to the Wings’ blueline keeps on hurting.  I mean I knew this was going to happen, but I always felt Holland has a plan.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 06/11/12 at 03:25 PM ET

Avatar

I mean I knew this was going to happen, but I always felt Holland has a plan.

And now you don’t because he hasn’t completely sealed up the D before the end of the playoffs?

Posted by Garth on 06/11/12 at 03:33 PM ET

SYF's avatar

On the contrary, Garth.  This is probably the first time in a long while where Holland has a real challenge.  For the longest time, he’s been dependent on Lids’ returning for another go at the Cup.  All he needed to do was reload.  Here, he has to rebuild his defense.  Given the reports by TMR’s links with the Wings’ brass, scouts, and coaches having meetings to address those losses, I’m pretty sure they had their contingencies in place.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 06/11/12 at 03:52 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.