Minor Hockey Moments - Mark Stuart

 

Mark Stuart is in his second full season with the Boston Bruins. After playing 82 games and achieving a plus-9 rating in an impressive rookie season, Stuart was named an alternate captain on the 2008 U.S. World Championship team. The Boston Bruins rewarded the talented defenceman with a multi-year contract extension in June 2008.&nbsp; <br>

 
 
 
 
 

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Mark Stuart is in his second full season with the Boston Bruins. After playing 82 games and achieving a plus-9 rating in an impressive rookie season, Stuart was named an alternate captain on the 2008 U.S. World Championship team. The Boston Bruins rewarded the talented defenceman with a multi-year contract extension in June 2008.  

There was no lack of hockey programming in Mark Stuart’s hometown of Rochester, Minnesota. The youngest of three boys, all who play professional hockey, Mark was one of many young athletes who benefitted from a duo of local (now celebrity) coaches, Kirk Gill and Todd Lampman. “He [Kirk Gill] had three sons and my family had three boys and we were all the same age so we all grew up getting coached by him,” said the Bruins defenceman after a game day morning skate. “We’d, ride to the rink with him and he wasn’t just a good coach, he was a family friend too.” While Stuart attributes his success as a hockey player to Gill and Lampman, they didn’t only deliver three Stuarts to professional hockey, their own kids also made it. Aaron Gill, signed a contract with the San Jose Sharks and played a couple seasons in the AHL while Todd’s son Bryce Lampman was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2001 and is now playing in the KHL in Russia. “They were great, they knew the game well and they definitely brought a lot of guys up through the ranks,” said Stuart. “It seems like they coached forever. I actually think this year will be there last. I think they’re calling in quits.”

Stuart spent his winters in the youth program and the summers with the ‘AAA’ Minnesota Blades travel team. When asked if about a highlight of his minor hockey career, Stuart was quick to respond. “The highlight of my minor hockey career happened when I was in peewee,” said the Boston Bruins 21st overall pick in 2003. “We won the state tournament and I scored the overtime winner: that was a highlight.”

With two older brother’s time management was essential in the Stuart household and Brad remembers mom behind the wheel most of the time. “My mom was always driving me around, she had the toughest job,” recalls an appreciative Stuart. “My brothers and I were two years apart so we were all going different places.” And though mamma Stuart didn’t grow up with the game, she was a quick learner. “Ahh. She was good,” said a suddenly flush Stuart. “She knew when to cheer us up and when to not say anything, especially after a bad game.” She wasn’t very loud in the stands but she was very nervous,” said Stuart. “I think she spent a lot of time outside of the arena if it was a close game. She couldn’t watch.”

 
 
 
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