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Hockey 101
Posted : : 10/22/2005
Alaska Aces Press Release

Anchorage, AK - Winger-defenseman Mike Stuart, in his fourth year with the Blues organization, has been sent to the Alaska Aces on a conditioning assignment. In the preseason Rivermen finale, Stuart injured his shoulder and has yet to play in the regular season, although he has been practicing with the team.

A versatile player, Stuart appeared in 70 games for the Worcester IceCats last season, swinging from defenseman to forward as needed. Stuart was named last season’s “Unsung Hero” for the IceCats. Worcester Telegram columnist Bill Ballou called Stuart “the clear winner. . . .He has played both wing and defense, often in the same game, and performed well at both. There probably isn’t a more fundamentally sound player on the roster than Stuart, and a look at his plus-minus, which has been among the team leaders all season long, demonstrates that, since he’s not piling up the plusses with points.” Stuart had 1 goal, a game-winner, and 10 assists during the 04-05 season. His plus-five was tied for the team lead among regular players on a team that had plus-minus ratings reaching as low as minus-22 and minus-18.

During the 03-04 season, Stuart was called up to the Blues for two stints, playing in two games. His first professional season was split between the ECHL Peoria Rivermen and the AHL Worcester IceCats.

Hockey runs in the blood of the Stuart family. Like Stuart, his two younger brothers played hockey at Colorado College. Mark Stuart is now a defenseman for AHL Providence Bruins and Colin Stuart is a left wing for the Chicago Wolves. Sister Cristin Stuart also plays defense as a sophomore for Boston College. Dr. Michael Stuart, father of the hockey-playing clan, is well known among sports medical personnel. The chief medical officer for USA Hockey, Dr. Stuart is also associated with the Sports Medicine Department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

One story about Mike Stuart will probably haunt him the rest of his life. On a road trip during his rookie season, the Worcester team stopped at a McDonald’s for a meal. Asked the traditional “Do you want fries with that?” by the server, Stuart declined. His teammate behind him, however, ordered the required size of fries to receive a peel-off sticker to win a prize. When the teammate revealed the prize on the box turned down by Stuart, he discovered he’d won $1,000.

Stuart is expected to remain with the Aces until Dec. 5. When the Utah Grizzlies visit Sullivan Arena this week, Stuart will greet his former Rivermen coach Jason Christie, in addition to former Rivermen/IceCats teammates Kris Kasper, Chad Starling and Alfie Michaud.

Submitted by Jeanenne Plevka
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