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Stanley Cup to visit Trencin, Slovakia, for fifth time

June 16, 2013 at 2:12 AM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, June 16 (UPI) -- No matter if the Chicago Blackhawks or the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup, the 120-year-old trophy will end up visiting the small town of Trencin, Slovakia.

Each year, the Stanley Cup championship team is allotted 100 days during the off-season to have possession of the championship trophy to show off during the winning team's parade, days with sponsors and a day or so with each player and member of the team's staff.

In 1994, the New York Rangers started the National Hockey League tradition of having each member of the winning team to have the Stanley Cup for a day.

As a result, the Stanley Cup visited the small town of Trencin -- population about 60,000 -- four times from 2008-11.

In 2009, forward Miroslav Satan won the cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played for HC Dukla Trencin from 1992 to 1994. This celebration came after the second Stanley Cup final round played by Marian Hossa. Hossa who now played with the Red Wings lost against his former team from Pittsburgh.

In 2008, forward Tomas Kopecky of the Detroit Red Wings brought the Stanley Cup to Trencin after the team won against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kopecky, currently with the Florida Panthers, had a tough injury in 2008. On April 3, 2008, as NHL regular season was ending, Kopecky tore his anterior cruciate ligament. The injury was repaired during surgery on April 22. That type of injury can take a while for recovery, so when Detroit won the Stanley Cup on June 4, 2008, Kopecky had not played a game in the post-season.

NHL forward Miroslav Satan, who grew up nearby Topolcany, played junior hockey for HC Topolcany, but at age 18 he joined the HC Dukla Trencin where he played in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.

After being drafted by the Edmonton Oilers, he scored nine goals in eight games representing Slovakia at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. After two years in Edmonton, he was a top scorer for the Buffalo Sabres for eight years, and later played for the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Forward Marian Hossa, was not born in Trencin, but grew up there and played for the HC Dukla Trencin in the 1996-97 season. After playing in three consecutive Stanley Cup finals' with three different teams, Hossa was on the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and bought the trophy to Trencin for the third time.

In 2011, defenseman and the Boston Bruin team captain Zdeno Chara won the trophy when the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks. Chara was born in Trencin and had lived there his whole life until he was drafted into the NHL, but he makes his off-season home there. In fact, Hossa does as well and they are neighbors.

At 6-foot, 9-inches, Chara is the tallest player in the NHL and has the hardest slap shot, measured at 108.8 mph.

During this year's Stanley Cup final, Chara is playing for Boston and Hossa is playing for Chicago, so no matter which team wins, the Stanley Cup should be making a fifth visit to Trencin later this year.

Before becoming a hockey powerhouse, Trencin was best known for a Roman inscription on the rock below the Trencin Castle that dates back from 179 indicating Trencin was the most northern area Roman soldiers had been in Europe. Trencin Castle is the third-largest castle in Slovakia.

During its travels, the Stanley Cup is always accompanied by at least one representative from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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