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Colorado Avalanche add Brad Stuart via trade, sign Jesse Winchester

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The Colorado Avalanche beefed up their blueline on Tuesday, acquiring defenseman Brad Stuart from the San Jose Sharks. Heading to San Jose will be a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and a sixth-round selection in 2017.

“The acquisition of Brad helps strengthen our blue line,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “He is a proven, quality defenseman and his addition will help our team.”

The 34-year-old Stuart is 6’2” and 215 pounds. In 61 games last season, he had 11 pounts and was a plus-four. All three of his goals were game-winners. A 15-year veteran, Stuart has played in 985 NHL contests for the Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. He won a Stanley Cup in 2008, with the Red Wings.

The deal is the second for the Avalanche in the past two days. On Monday, they added forward Daniel Briere in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens, with P.A. Parenteau and a fifth round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft heading the other way..

The Avalanche also added forward Jesse Winchester on Tuesday via free agency, signing the 30-year-old to a two-year contract worth $900,000 per season. A faceoff specialist, Winchester can also play on the wing. He is a big body, suited for a fourth-line role. He may also see time on the penalty kill. Winchester had 18 points in 52 games for the Florida Panthers last season.

Not all news in Avalanche territory on Tuesday was positive however, as longtime center (and assistant captain) Paul Stastny signed a four-year deal with the St. Louis Blues. Role player Brad Malone also won’t be back next season, as he signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes worth an average of $650,000 per season.

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