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Sharks Sign Stuart

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From SJSharks official (fully white-washed) website:

Sharks & Stuart Agree To Terms

It looks like for the first time all season, the Sharks will have the ability to dress their best 20-man unit. Brad Stuart agreed to terms on Wednesday morning and that, combined with Scott Thornton's return on Monday night, provides San Jose a holdout and injury free lineup.

The deal is for three years and is worth about $5 million over the term. Stuart will skate at Logitech Ice at San Jose this morning, then fly to Atlanta in the afternoon.

"I'm happy it's over," said Stuart. "It is not something I enjoyed. I'm just glad to get back and start playing. It's tough and frustrating to watch your team play without you, especially when the team is not doing well. You don't like it, but it's part of the game now."

The 24-year-old Stuart, one of the top young blueliners in the game, and the Sharks completed a multiyear deal Tuesday evening. Last year Stuart posted 29 points (six goals, 23 assists) while playing in all 82 contests. He played the bulk of the season's second half on an injured ankle that required offseason surgery. He had been skating with the University of Calgary until he returned to San Jose last night.

While his training camp time would have been limited by the surgery, Stuart's health is not an issue right now. Stuart received a physical from Sharks Team Doctor Arthur Ting Wednesday morning.

"It's pretty good," Stuart said of the ankle. "I haven't had much to gauge it by. Getting out there and skating feels good. Getting in a game will test it, but I think I'm ready to do the job."

Stuart was named as the runner up for the 1999-00 Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the League's top rookie. The Rocky Mountain House, Alberta native was selected by San Jose in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft (first round, third overall).

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Well, this is bad news for Jeff Jillson.

He's already in Sutter's doghouse.

Now with Stuart's return, Jeff will get no ice time.

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He's on my fantasy hockey team, so good news for me! Hopefully he doesn't get off to a slow start.

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Jillson's in the doghouse for lousy play, but Stuart should be giving him a big thank you for stinking it up so bad that the Sharks had to finally do the contract. I don't know if they can turn this around. The couldn't beat the Rangers on Monday with Blackburn in goal (and behind the goal and inside the goal). Course, they played Kipper, not Nabby. I'm starting to wonder if last year WAS the year for Sharkie, and now they've got to start all over.

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Now is when San Jose turns things around... right?

As a Stars fan, I'm hoping not. :P

But seriously, the Sharks have dug themselves a pretty big hole. They're 13th in the West as of this morning (IIRC), so it'll be a long climb back up. The good thing for them is they have lots of time left, if other teams slip.

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No big deal about Jillson.

The SBT kicked him off the fantasy team long ago.

As for the Sharks, they will win the Pacific Division again.

It's basically the same team as last year's.

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As for the Sharks, they will win the Pacific Division again.

I disagree. I really think the Stars will be back at the top of the Pacific. It may be a hard, close race, but I don't see the Sharks beating this year's Stars team.

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