It helps to make a good impression on your new team when you’ve been acquired in a trade. It helps even more when you’re an impending unrestricted free agent. For Atlanta’s Mark Stuart, being brought over in a trade with Boston has paid off handsomely for the veteran defenseman as he’s signed a three-year extension with the team worth $5.1 million. That total works out to a cap hit of $1.7 million over the course of the deal, a very affordable amount for a dependable guy.
Stuart added a lot of character and defensive toughness to a Thrashers blue line that desperately needed a dose of both. With Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay being familiar with Stuart’s abilities from his days in Boston, the fit was a natural one and one that both sides found to be a good one.
Stuart’s numbers won’t blow you away as he’s not a guy that gets lots of points but he will do the little things that don’t get noticed and he’ll occasionally drop the gloves to stick up for his teammates. Every team loves having a guy like that and Atlanta is happy to have him. The fact that the Thrashers have been able to sign so many people to extensions of late (Dustin Byfuglien, GM Rick Dudley) all while the ownership is a mess is a bit of a curious thing. Teams under ownership duress aren’t usually given the go ahead to spend so much on extensions, but here we are.