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Brad Stuart happy to be back in Bay Area

Brad Stuart is happy to be back in the Bay Area after signing a three-year contract with the San Jose Sharks, who drafted the defenseman third-overall in 1998 before trading him away in 2005.

Gregory Shamus - Getty Images

Brad Stuart is glad to be back in the Bay Area for good after signing a three-year, $10.8 million contract with the San Jose Sharks in June, according to a report from Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.

The defenseman was drafted third-overall by the Sharks in 1998 and made his NHL debut a year later. He was traded to the Boston Bruins in 2005 as part of the deal that brought Joe Thornton to San Jose, but Stuart never moved permanently and returned to his Bay Area home each offseason.

"Really, at this point it seems like nothing is different, other than I'm wearing different colors and I've been able to come into the facility all summer," Stuart told Kurz on Friday.

With the NHL lockout ongoing, Stuart's official return to the The Shark Tank has been delayed, but he doesn't plan on signing with any overseas team as many fellow-NHL players have. Once the season gets underway, Stuart is expected to be one of the Sharks' top four defenders and should help improve their penalty kill.

Stuart spent the last five seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, with whom he won the 2008 Stanley Cup. The Red Wings traded Stuart's rights to the Sharks on June 10 and he quickly signed a three-year deal to remain in San Jose.

Stewart has scored 74 goals and recorded 231 assists in 876 career games played. He has nine goals and 28 assists in 124 postseason contests.