Keeping up with the Cup: July 14 - LA Kings Insider

The Stanley Cup is knee deep in the European segment of its world tour, and after visiting Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Slovenia over the past week, will be returning to Chelyabinsk early this week to continue the Kings’ second Summer of Stanley.

Our friends at LAKings.com have grabbed a lot of great pictures and short videos from all summer stops. Click here for the Cup’s social media hub and for a ton of pictures that have been well circulated on Twitter.

Though the Cup visited Trencin, Slovakia for the sixth time, this year’s trip was 15 seasons and 347 goals in the making. After Miroslav Satan, Tomas Kopecky, Zdeno Chara and Marian Hossa (twice) celebrated with the Cup in the northwestern Slovakian city of nearly 60,000, it was Marian Gaborik’s turn this past weekend:

While Willie Mitchell may have packed the most events into any day with the Cup two years ago – he traveled via helicopter with the Cup to a Vancouver Island peak, took the Cup out on a rowboat, and celebrated with the local Namgis Tribe – Gaborik certainly made the most of his time, celebrating in a castle and bringing the Cup to the Bažant Pohoda Music Festival, where he was joined by President Andrej Kiska.

Kiska also congratulated to Marián Gáborík, who is currently playing for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and came to the main Pohoda stage with the Stanley Cup. He later took the cup atop a fire department truck for a ride around the airport.

“I must admit that this is my first time at Pohoda and I would never have expected this,” Gáborík said to the audience, as quoted by TASR. “But I guarantee you, this is not the last time.”

I’m still sifting through my research to determine the root of this, but for some reason, the Kings – and this blog – are fairly popular in Slovenia. After hits from the United States and Canada, the next most noticeable spike in web traffic comes from Anze Kopitar’s home country, which means that Sunday’s celebration on the shores of Lake Bled was a pretty big deal, even if it made Bailey queasy.

Kopitar brought the Cup back to Jesenice, where he celebrated with throngs of young hockey players, some of whom wore jerseys adorned with Ducks. No word on whether they were jersey prototypes recently rejected by the Kings’ Orange County neighbors. Click here for a great photo gallery of yesterday’s event.

From Ducks to Lynx: Kopitar also celebrated with the Cinderella Slovenian national team, with whom he engineered a more than respectable seventh place finish at the Winter Olympics in a competition against teams with heavy advantages in hockey resources.

Radio-Television Slovenia doesn’t expect this to be the country’s last Stanley Cup visit, “In particular, because the Kings with skilful management remains a superpower that will continue for some years threatened to become a true dynasty.” (via Google Translate)

There are more great videos from Slovenia here, courtesy of 24UR.

Via NHL.com’s Summer with Stanley Blog:

Two years after Kopitar became the first Slovenian player to ever win the Cup, he returned to his homeland once again a champion. Among the highlights of the afternoon was a helicopter tour of Slovenia with his wife, Ines, and a boat ride on Lake Bled. He later arrived to Podmezakla Hall in Jesenice for photo opportunities with friends, family and fans and an in-line hockey tournament.

“The difference is that now I know what to expect. In this sense, it was a bit easier as far as ice, but was significantly more difficult,” Kopitar told the crowd in attendance according to Slovenian website 24ur.com

In between a couple of musical performances, Kopitar and company watched the World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany on the big screen.

Anze Kopitar, inline star?

Schedule of Stanley:
June 24: NHL Awards, Las Vegas, NV
June 26-28: NHL Draft, Philadelphia, PA
June 29: Mark Yannetti, Topsfield, MA
June 30: Hubie McDonough, Manchester, NH
June 30: Denis Fugere, St. Jerome, QC
July 1: Michael Futa, Rexdale, ON
July 2-3: Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa, ON
July 3: Alyn McCauley, Gananoque, ON
July 4-5: Dustin Brown, Ithaca, NY
July 6: Jonathan Quick, Hamden, CT
July 9: Niklas Andersson, Smogen, Sweden
July 10: Christian Ruuttu, Helsinki, Finland
July 11-12: Marian Gaborik, Trencin, Slovakia
July 12-13: Anze Kopitar, Jesenice, Slovenia