Originally posted on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 6/10/12

DETROIT - DECEMBER 9: Brad Stuart #23 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for position against TJ Oshie #74 of the St. Louis Blues during the game at Joe Louis Arena on December 9, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Brad Stuart began his career with the Sharks and thanks to today's long anticipated deal, he'll get a chance to return home to finish it. The Red Wings get Andrew Murray and a seventh round pick in the 2014 draft if Stuart signs with the Sharks. Stuart becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, unless the two sides work out a deal first.

Stuart back in familar colors

With the draft two weeks in the future and free agency still three weeks away, teams are well into their preparations for the 2012-13 NHL season, even as the Devils work to extend the Stanley Cup Finals.

For San Jose, shoring up their defensive corps was vital. St. Louis dispatched them in five games and throughout the series, the Sharks were plagued by a lack of phusicality and toughness. Though Stuart is not as adept at two way play, as a stay at home defenseman, he brings grit and aggressiveness.

Important to note, this deal is to the rights for Stuart prior to the commencement of free agency. That gives San Jose an exclusive negotiating period and nothing more. By hedging their bets they ensure they get a deal with Stuart with minimal exposure. For the Red Wings, they have the add Murray and the conditional pick for a player they were certain to lose during free agency.

With the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and this deal, Detroit will feature new faces around Ian White and Jonathan Ericsson.

Stuart meanwhile rejoins the team that traded him away in 2005 along with Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau to acquire current Sharks Captain Joe Thornton. The Sharks drafted Stuart 3rd overall in 1998.


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