Brad Stuart spent a staggering five seasons with the Red Wings. While he wasn’t necessarily a stand out in any of them, he did exactly what he needed to do: shut other teams down.
The 2008 trade deadline came with a force. The day saw 25 deals, with the likes of Brad Richards, Marion Hossa, Pascal Dupuis, Andrew Ladd, Sergei Fedorov and Adam Foote all donning new sweaters after February 26th. The Red Wings needed to shore up an already formidable defence corps that boasted names like Rafalski, Kronwall, Chelios, and the great Nicklas Lidstrom.
Ken Holland targeted the Los Angeles Kings and their pending UFA Brad Stuart to bring more veteran presence and stability to an All-Star backend. The Kings had a very reasonable asking price: two draft picks. The Red Wings wanted to hold onto their 1st round pick for 2008 (to eventually draft Tom McCollum), so they struck a deal with the Kings for a slightly later pick.
Los Angeles receives
2nd round pick in 2008 (Peter Delmas)
4th round pick in 2009 (Ben Chiarot)
This trade is an interesting one for a few reasons. Before even looking at the impact that Brad Stuart had with the Red Wings, we have to track down these draft picks. Neither of the picks were used by the Kings to draft a player. A few months later, the Kings shipped off Detroit’s 2nd round pick to Colorado, for Brad Richardson. One year later, they swapped draft picks with the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers, who drafted Ben Chiarot (who now stars with the Winnipeg Jets six years later), and the Kings drafted Jean-Francois Berube.
That was a mouthful. The Kings and Richardson had a fairly good relationship together, as Richardson played for five seasons before signing with the Vancouver Canucks in 2013. Richardson was nothing more than a third or fourth line player, but its tough to justify trading a 2nd round pick for him; however, that’s a whole different story. Berube has yet to sniff the NHL, but may get a shot with Martin Jones now playing in Boston.
Brad Stuart had a wonderful tenure in Detroit. He played in 67 games or more in the four full seasons that he played in Detroit (playing the full 82 games in 2009-2010), he was only a “minus player” twice, scored 20 or more points on three different occasions, and had a Stanley Cup victory in his very first season with the Red Wings. He’s got a great track record with the Red Wings, and fans have a tough time finding bad things to say about the guy. To make it even harder to hate Brad Stuart, even when he requested a trade out of Detroit, it was to be closer to his family.
In all reality, the Red Wings gave up hardly anything to gain a number three or four defenceman for parts of five seasons. Stuart brought an incredibly steady presence to the Red Wings back end, helped them win a Stanley Cup, came incredibly close to winning a second Cup in 2009, and helped mentor the younger Red Wings that now anchor the blue line in Detroit. Hard to believe that it only took a #60 and a #120 pick to get a guy who was originally taken third overall.
God bless you, Brad Stuart.