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Kings’ Greene bringing Stanley Cup to Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS – Matt Greene is bringing the Stanley Cup to Grand Forks – and he’s letting area hockey fans join in on his day.

Greene, who won the prized trophy in June with the Los Angeles Kings, will have the Stanley Cup in town Aug. 12, and fans will have an opportunity to see the Cup and take pictures with it from noon to 3 p.m. in the main lobby of Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Commemorative fliers will be available for fans in attendance, while highlights of Greene and the Kings will be played on the television screens in the lobby.

Greene, an alternate captain of the Kings, played a key role in helping the team secure its second Stanley Cup in three years, appearing in 20 playoff games and registering four assists and a plus-five rating.

Each player on the Cup-winning team gets to spend one day with the trophy. Greene decided to bring it back to the town where he played his college hockey.

Greene played three years for the UND from 2002-05, serving as the team captain as a junior. That team made a run to the 2005 national championship game in Columbus, Ohio.

The first time Greene won the Cup in 2012, he brought it to his hometown of Grand Ledge, Mich. This time, it’s Grand Forks.

“It didn’t really surprise my wife and I when he told us,” Greene’s father, Jim, told the Herald. “Two years ago, we had a fantastic time here in Grand Ledge. We had a ton of fun. The community got to share in the excitement.

“Matt did that. Now, there’s another community equally as special to him.”

Ever since turning pro in 2005, Greene has always stayed closely connected to Grand Forks. He returns to town each summer to work out, train and see old friends.

He has played in a charity golf tournament hosted by UND sociology professor Frank White, and during the NHL lockout two years ago, he drove nine hours to Houghton, Mich., to watch a UND-Michigan Tech hockey series.

“Matt learned a lot in those three years at UND,” his father said. “I think he feels tremendous loyalty to the community.”

Greene will be the third former UND player to bring the Cup back to Grand Forks after winning it. Ed Belfour brought it to town in 1999 after winning it with the Dallas Stars and Mike Commodore did the same after winning it in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

After winning the Cup, he signed a four-year contract worth $10 million to stay with the Kings, saying he hopes to make more Stanley Cup runs.