SAN JOSE, Calif. While other teams shopped in the NHL free agent market Tuesday, San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson reinforced his plan to rely more on his own younger players next season by trading veteran defenseman Brad Stuart to the Colorado Avalanche.

In return, San Jose will get Colorado's second-round pick in the 2016 draft and sixth-round pick the following year.

Stuart, 34, had a limited no-trade clause in the final year of his contract and had a big say in his destination, Wilson said.

"This is the phase that we're in, and we talked through what was the best decision for all involved. We've got a bunch of younger 'D' and it's their time to have the opportunities," Wilson said. "We also wanted to make sure we got Brad to a place where he wanted to go and he'd have some success.

Stuart was San Jose's first-round pick in the 1998 draft and spent more than five seasons with the team before being traded to the Boston Bruins as part of the package that brought Joe Thornton to San Jose in November 2005. Stuart rejoined the team in 2012 and, fighting injuries last season, had three goals and eight assists in 61 games.

Since the Sharks' playoff demise at the end of April, Wilson has told veteran players the team is in a rebuild and they might not want to stay as younger players are given more responsibility on and off the ice.

While Stuart agreed to be traded, two other more prominent players with no-movement clauses Thornton and Patrick Marleau have not.

Stuart becomes the third big-name veteran to leave the team that lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs. The other two defenseman Dan Boyle and forward Marty Havlat found new homes Monday at the start of what has become known as free agent frenzy.

Boyle, traded by the Sharks to the New York Islanders on June 5 for a conditional draft pick, signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the New York Rangers. Because he didn't stay with the Islanders, the Sharks get a fifth-round pick in return.

Havlat, who became the first contract buyout in team history, was given a one-year deal by the New Jersey Devils that will pay him $1.5 million beyond the $2 million he will continue to receive from the Sharks.

Wilson was firm in his resolve not to look to another team's free agents even as Western Conference rivals beefed up their lineups.

"We don't want to give up cap space or opportunities and ice time while we're going through this phase," the general manager said. "We have no plans to look in the UFA market at this point."

Wilson did not rule out another veteran defenseman, Scott Hannan, returning to the team. But Hannan, 35, would have to be willing to play a lesser role and not likely be among the six playing most nights.

The Sharks did sign minor league defenseman Taylor Fedun to a one-year contract. Fedun, 26, played four games with the Edmonton Oilers last season after 135 games in the AHL with Oklahoma City and four years at Princeton.





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