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The Sharks have traded defenseman Brad Stuart to Colorado for a pair of draft picks on Tuesday, CSNBayArea.com has learned.
San Jose has acquired a second round pick in 2016 and sixth round pick in 2017 in exchange for the 34-year-old veteran defenseman, who has one year remaining on his contract.
"Brad has been a true professional on and off the ice for our organization for many years and I want to express our sincere thanks for everything he has done for our team," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement.
"In the phase that our organization is in, we made a decision that is in the best interest of all parties involved. Brad understands that we have made a commitment to give our younger players the opportunity to play and it was important to us to put Brad in a position where he has a chance to be successful."
The move frees up $3.6 million in cap space for the Sharks, who will not retain any of Stuart’s salary in the deal. Stuart had a limited no-trade clause.
The Sharks are expected to give younger defenseman like Matt Tennyson, Taylor Doherty and possibly 2013 first round draft pick Mirco Mueller a chance at making the NHL roster for the upcoming season. They have also not closed the door on free agent defenseman Scott Hannan's return, provided Hannan is willing to accept a seventh or eighth spot on the depth chart.
Stuart spent the last two seasons with the Sharks, his second stint with the club after it drafted him third overall in 1998. Last season, a summer injury prevented him from starting the season on time, and he later missed 13 games after the Olympic break. In 61 games, Stuart had three goals and 11 points while averaging 19:10 of ice time.