By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Mark Stuart will be a Winnipeg Jet for the foreseeable future after signing a four-year, $10.5 million pact on Wednesday afternoon.
Stuart, 29, has played in 50 games with the Winnipeg Jets so far this season. In that time, the left-handed blue liner has recorded nine points (2G, 7A) and 81 penalty minutes. He leads the Jets this campaign with 163 hits and 118 blocked shots. Stuart has played in 195 career games with the Jets for 28 career points (8G, 20A) and 256 career penalty minutes.
“It is something that we have been working on for a while now and it came together very, very quickly in the end,” said Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. “Very, very pleased and excited to announce that Mark will be part of our organization moving forward here. He certainly had a desire to stay with our organization.
The Rochester, MN native has played in 478 career NHL games between Boston, Atlanta and Winnipeg for a career total of 68 points (21G, 47A) and 540 career penalty minutes. Stuart has also played in 22 career post-season games for two assists and 21 penalty minutes.
“What you see is what you get from Mark Stuart; he’s a player who comes to play every night, “said Cheveldayoff. “He is a leader on the ice, he is a leader off the ice that most don’t get to see behind closed doors. He is a very caring individual, compassionate individual, and really respected by his teammates and coaches.”
Cheveldayoff said that negotiations were amicable with Stuart’s agent Matt Keator.
“I can’t say enough about the job his agent did in getting this done really quickly with us,” said Cheveldayoff. “I think he knows what this organization stands for and what we are trying to build.”
Stuart was originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in the first round, 21st overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
(with files from the Winnipeg Jets)