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Cup’s tour in GF begins on Monday

GRAND FORKS – In 1995, the New Jersey Devils decided to give each member of the team one day with the Stanley Cup to do whatever they wanted.

The idea stuck.

Ever since, players, coaches and staff members of the Stanley Cup-winning team have brought the sport’s most prized trophy all over the world.

It has been to the White House and the Red Square.

It has been to the top of a mountain and the bottom of a swimming pool.

In the last month alone, it has visited seven different countries – United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Russia.

But this week, it will be in Grand Forks, thanks to a pair of Los Angeles Kings.

Defenseman Matt Greene and scout Tony Gasparini, who helped their organization win the Cup for the second time in three years in June, are bringing the trophy to town on Monday and Tuesday.

Greene grew up in Grand Ledge, Mich., but played three years of college hockey at the University of North Dakota and has been a frequent visitor to town since he turned pro in 2005.

Gasparini, a former Minnesota-Duluth goalie, grew up in Grand Forks and played for Central High School.

The Stanley Cup will be at their calling for two days.

Where will they take it?

For starters, there will be a public showing from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Ralph Engelstad Arena, where fans can take a photo with the Cup. A Matt Greene flier also will be available to visiting fans.

But you can bet that won’t be the Cup’s only stop during its two days in town. Perhaps only Greene and Gasparini know other possible destinations, but there’s a good chance some people will spot it elsewhere in Grand Forks.

The last two Cup winners to bring it to Grand Forks were Mike Commodore in 2006 and Ed Belfour in 1999. On those trips, it made stops at the old Ralph Engelstad Arena, Hyslop Sports Center, the new Ralph Engelstad Arena, Walsh Hall, Judy’s Tavern and professor Frank White’s class in Abbott Hall, among other places.

The Cup’s next tour of Grand Forks is just hours away.

So, keep your eyes peeled.