Holland confirms Stuart signing
"We're happy we signed Brad for four years," said Holland. "We really think with him, Rafalski, Lidstrom, Kronwall, our top four (defensemen) match up with anyone."
Stuart's contract averages $3.75 million per season which is between what the Red Wings hoped to pay and what Stuart thought he could get on the free-agent market. Stuart turns 29, Nov. 6.
"They were pretty sure he could get $4 to $4.5 million," said Holland. "We paid a little bit more than we wanted to and he took a little bit less than he wanted to. But all deals made are compromises. He's got a home now."
"We're obviously done on defense," added Holland. "We're still looking for a back-up goalie. If we can find a forward on a short-term deal to fill out our needs, great. But will that be this week or later in the summer, who knows."
With Stuart, the Red Wings have three of their top four defensemen -- Stuart, Rafalski and Kronwall -- signed for the next four seasons and Lidstrom signed for the next two.
"Hopefully, we can convince Nick to stay longer," said Holland.
With Andreas Lilja, Derek Meech and Brett Lebda also signed and Chris Chelios expected to sign later this summer, the Red Wings have the eight NHL defensemen that they will start the season with. Prospects Jonathan Ericsson and Kyle Quincey will likely start out in Grand Rapids.
Detroit has 11 forwards under contract with restricted free agent Valtteri Filppula expected to sign this summer. Starting goalie Chris Osgood is under contract and restricted free agent Jimmy Howard is expected to sign this summer.