The Detroit Red Wings have been a better team with Brad Stuart in the lineup, but the pending free agent recently had his negotiating rights traded to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Andrew Murray. As it turns out, the team had made an offer to Stuart prior to the trade, but the defenseman was uninterested.
It's pretty clear why, though - Stuart's family is in California, including his wife and kids. MLive.com notes that Stuart knew coming into this offseason that he wasn't going to re-sign with the Red Wings and that he hoped he could return to California (he started his career with the Sharks in 1999).
"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.
Stuart noted that it was very draining to not have his family around at all times, saying that his kids gave him energy and it was draining to be with them one day and without them another. It clearly would be best for him to go back to California, so it's likely he signs with the Sharks. Then again, they aren't the only team in California and thus far they've only had preliminary talks with him.