As of about fifteen minutes ago it has been announced that the Detroit Red Wings have traded Brad Stuart to San Jose for Andrew Murray and a conditional 7th round pick in 2014. Detroit will only get the pick if the Sharks sign Brad Stuart, and both players are unrestricted free agents on July 1st. It has been well known around the league that Stuart wanted to return home to his family in California, and now he has the chance to return to the team that drafted him 3rd overall in 1998. And because it has been known around the league that he was likely leaving Detroit, that is why the Wings literally got nothing for him. Quite frankly it’s the best they could do given the fact that everyone was probably low balling them, and it is better to get something than let him walk for nothing. I don’t see the Wings making an attempt to sign Murray, but if they do you can guarantee it will be a two-way contract and he will be playing in Grand Rapids.
I personally thought that with Lidstrom retiring that they might try to keep him, but it is clear now that the Wings are probably going to use this opportunity and this cap space to reshape the franchise. Whether it will be through free agency or trades it is unclear, but what is clear is that getting Ryan Suter has become more important now than ever. The only downside to that is the fact that Suter is a loyal guy and is leaning towards remaining in Nashville. This would mean that the next unrestricted free agent that the Wings would target would be Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle. He’s definitely a good player and I would rather have him than Brad Stuart, but definitely not more than Suter.
This is just the start of what is going to be an interesting offseason for the Red Wings Organization.