The San Jose Sharks have traded for the negotiating rights to Detroit Red Wings defeseman Brad Stuart, and given his connection to California and desire to put his family first, his signing with the team appears highly likely. His family is based in San Jose, and being close to them was as high on his list of priorities as it was to play for a Stanley Cup contending team. As he told mlive.com:
"It was important for me to see if I could improve my family situation and continue to be on a contending team and a team I was excited about going to," said Stuart, 32. "San Jose is definitely that place. The team is good. It's high on my list of things that are important to me at this point in my career. I want a chance to win every year.
"I've been around it in Detroit and you don't want anything else once you've been around it. That was very important. And, of course, my family as well. They were pretty open about my living situation the last three or four years and this is the perfect fit for both of those things."
Stuart started his career with the Sharks in 1999 and played here for five years before being dealt away in the 2005 trade that saw the Sharks acquire Joe Thornton. His family remained in San Jose as he moved around the league. The Red Wings had interest in retaining Stuart, but he was already looking elsewhere with his family in mind. He played 81 games in the 2012 season, collecting six goals and 15 assists. Sharks fans certainly hope a return to San Jose results in a happy, motivated Stuart producing for the team.