Pro hockey: Stuart signs 4-year extension with Jets

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Mark Stuart, right, checks Carolina's Andrej Sekera during a game in Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 4. Stuart, a 29-year-old Rochester native, signed a four-year, $10.5 million contract extension with the Jets on Wednesday.

WINNIPEG — On a busy day in the National Hockey League, the Winnipeg Jets' biggest news made just a ripple on the national radar.

But that's just the way Mark Stuart would prefer it.

The 29-year-old Rochester native has always preferred to let his play on the ice do his talking. That was the case again Wednesday — trade deadline day in the NHL — after Stuart signed a four-year, $10.5 million contract extension to remain with the Jets.

The deal will keep Stuart in Winnipeg through the 2017-18 season.

"(Stuart) is a big part of our leadership group," Jets' GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said at a news conference that was streamed at "He had a desire to stay in Winnipeg and wanted to be a part of our organization moving forward.


"The leadership he provides, the type of person he is, he is what the Winnipeg Jets are about when it comes to having a character-type person."

Stuart has been with the organization since the middle of the 2010-11 season, when the Jets were still the Atlanta Thrashers. Stuart was traded from Boston — the team that selected him No. 21 overall in the 2003 NHL Draft — to Atlanta on Feb. 18, 2011, along with forward Blake Wheeler, in exchange for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik.

Just 10 days after being traded to Atlanta, Stuart signed a three-year, $5.1 million extension, which he is finishing out this season.

Stuart has played in 478 NHL games, recording 21 goals and 68 points. He has 540 career penalty minutes and has played in 22 playoff games, all with Boston.

He has two goals and seven assists in 50 games this season for the Jets (30-26-7), who are just one point behind Dallas for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. He leads Winnipeg this season in plus/minus rating (plus-9) and penalty minutes (81).

Stuart wasn't available for comment to the media on Wednesday, but his defensive partner, rookie Jacob Trouba, congratulated him on his Twitter account (@JacobTrouba).

"Couldn't be happier to see Stuey is staying in Winnipeg for 4 more years," Trouba wrote. "Great partner and even better teammate. #stuuuuuu"

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