DETROIT — Detroit Red Wing fans have a way of treating players that have left for other teams when they return to Joe Louis Arena, they boo every time they touch the puck of their name is announced.
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson hopes fans don’t greet former blue liner Brad Stuart with a chorus of boos in his first game back in Detroit on Thursday as a member of the San Jose Sharks.
“I don’t think he’s going to get booed or anything like that,” Ericsson said after practice Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. “He did such a tremendous job for us. He was such a key player. We know he liked it here, but for the sake of him and his family he really couldn’t stay and I understand that.”
The Wings traded Stuart back to a team on the West Coast so he could join his family, who he was living apart from his entire time in Detroit.
“I hope the fans know that he really liked it here, but he really didn’t have a choice because he didn’t want to be away from his family and kids,” Ericsson said. “I really hope they don’t boo him.”