ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) — There is nothing quite like a game seven. The Vancouver Canucks faced the Boston Bruins for Lord Stanley’s Cup Wednesday night.
The game has a bittersweet feel for Rochester native Mark Stuart, who was drafted by the Bruins and played his entire professional career with them until the trade deadline.
Stuart had many friends playing for all the marbles Wednesday night. He spent five years with the team and said he appreciates the opportunity he was given to play in the NHL.
“Winning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal, but you have to be thankful for just going out there and playing every day,” Stuart said.
Stuart would have loved to be preparing for game seven with the Bruins, but he was traded this season just before the deadline to the Atlanta Thrashers, who are now going to Winnepeg. So he has spent the last month in the gym training for next season and trying not to think about what could have been.
“I peak here and there, but it is hard to watch,” Stuart said. “It’s tough because you play with those guys for so long.”
He has driven to be better, and that’s why he has stayed in the league.
“If I had a son, I would want Mark Stuart to be my son,” said Kevin Ziegler, his trainer at the gym. “Anything and everything good about the game of hockey and about life is Mark Stuart.”
With his teammates and friends vying for a Stanley Cup Wednesday night, it will be difficult both to watch and not to watch.
“It will be hard to stay away from it, but I’ll probably tune into the third period and see what happens,” Stuart said. “It’s a little different now because Boston is still playing and I’ve been working out for almost a month already so it’s a little different but I wish those guys well.”