No “show” no problem for Wolves’ Stewart

Chicago Wolves left wing Karl Stewart isn’t one to dwell on things beyond his control.

Rather than brood about the fact that there may be no National Hockey League this season, he’s focusing his energies to continue preparing for a career in “The Show” one day.

“I know that this year, there [might not] be an NHL, so it’s tough knowing there’s not an opportunity to get called up,” said the 21-year-old forward.

“But, I approach every game as if it’s an NHL game. I’m preparing better mentally for each game, because if I’m there mentally and physically, everything else should fall into place.”

Stewart spent the offseason bulking up his 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame by incorporating more power training and heavy lifting into his regimen. He also added core training and plyometrics to his regular routine of long-distance running.

Now that the season has begun, Stewart has taken cues from seasoned players who would be with the Atlanta Thrashers if not for the lockout.

“It’s been very beneficial for me to have a guy like [left wing] Brad Larsen on the team this year,” explained Stewart. “He’s put in his time in the AHL, and now he’s an NHL player. I watch and see what his habits are before and during practice and how he carries himself on and off the ice. I’ve got him to look up to.

“It only helps my development with NHL players like that on the team.”

The adjustments Stewart has made have already translated into an increase in goal scoring. After 40 games, the Aurora, Ont., native has already matched the 10 goals he registered in 72 contests last year during his rookie season.

Stewart has also set his sights on increasing the amount of time he spends in the community this year.

“I have a lot of free time on my hands, and I thought I could put it to good use by visiting kids and brightening their day. It makes the kids happy, so then I feel good about myself. It’s a win-win situation.”

Just like it’s a win-win situation for Stewart and the Wolves.