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Stanley Cup makes surprise stop in Manvel

FNS Photo by Eric Hylden Los Angeles Kings’ Matt Greene, center, carries the Stanley Cup onto a bus on Monday in Manvel.

MANVEL — With the Stanley Cup in hand, Matt Greene boarded a bus at the Grand Forks airport on Monday afternoon.

“Where are we headed first? The hotel?” someone asked.

Nope, Greene had other ideas.

“The Manvel Legion,” he said.

So, the Stanley Cup champion and his entourage of friends and family brought the world’s most famous trophy to the tiny bar in small town 10 miles south of Grand Forks.

There was one person in the Legion when the Cup arrived. The crowd eventually grew to modest 30-35 — some who received tips from friends that it was there, others who were startled to see the famed trophy upon their arrival.

It was the first stop on Greene’s Grand Forks tour.

Each player on the Stanley Cup-winning team gets at least one day to do whatever with the Cup. Greene, an alternate captain of the champion Los Angeles Kings, started his time with the trophy on Monday morning in his hometown of Grand Ledge, Mich.

He then boarded a private jet in Lansing, Mich., and flew to Grand Forks with a quick stop in Fargo.

He will have a public showing of the Cup from noon to 3 p.m. today in Ralph Engelstad Arena, where fans will get an opportunity to take their picture with the Cup. But some fans got to get up close with it Monday.

So, why Manvel?

It has a special spot in Greene’s heart. When Greene played for UND from 2002-05, he frequently traveled to Manvel along with teammate Lee Marvin to have a hearty dinner with Marvin’s grandparents. They would usually stop at the legion, too.

On his trip back, he brought a special visitor.

Greene arrived at the Legion with the Cup at about 3:45 p.m. and stayed there until about 5:15. He then left the Legion, bound for a private function at the Grand Forks Country Club.

“It’s been great — everyone’s having fun,” said Jim Greene, Matt’s father.