Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Stuart to L.A.

As discussed in my post about Doug Wilson's relative dormancy since the free agent signing period began, the market for defensemen has whittled down significantly to a point where I would have been happy to see Wilson sign former Shark Brad Stuart. Instead, Stuart has fallen into the clutches of Dean Lombardi, who simply can't keep his hands off former Sharks from his own era in San Jose.

According to TSN, Stuart signed a one-year deal worth $3.5 million. First off, he's only 27 so the term of the deal is a bit odd, especially considering the far gaudier contract lenghts handed out to players much older than him. The $3.5 million may be a bit overpaid, especially considering he tallied just 22 points last year and finished a dismal -10. Here's a look at the Kings current defense corps:


Honestly, it's not half-bad -- perhaps even greater than the Sharks' blueline, especially post-Hannan. Unfortunately for Kings fans, any move the club makes is rendered utterly insignificant by their goaltending situation. Dan Cloutier is simply not an NHL starter and neither is Jason LaBarbera or whoever else they decide to pull out of their farm system. The sooner Kings management realizes that and targets a netminder potentially on the trading block, the better the prospects in terms of Los Angeles contending for a postseason berth.

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