Over the Stanley Cup's grand history, it has visited some of the most picturesque sites on the planet, including its fair share of castles, lakes and arenas.
But it would be difficult for any of those to match the scene surrounding the Cup last week when it arrived at the Church of the Assumption, a 15th-century Baroque-style place of worship located in the Julian Alps of northwestern Slovenia.
After carrying the Stanley Cup around Slovenia, the first time the trophy ever visited the country, Los Angeles Kings star Anze Kopitar brought it, along with family and friends, to the church. For the NHL all-star, the visit brought his Cup journey full circle.
The Washington Capitals have signed left wing Wojtek Wolski to a one-year contract. The team didn't release financial terms, but the Washington Post reports the deal is worth $600,000.
Wolski, 26, had four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 31 games with the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers in 2011-12. He was acquired by Florida from New York on Feb. 25, 2012, in exchange for defenseman Mike Vernace and a third-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.
"I definitely think I can help on the offensive side," Wolski said on a conference call with reporters, according to The Washington Times. "I struggled the last two years. I'm definitely highly motivated, very excited and very hungry at this point in time and I look forward to the opportunity to be able to play with great players. I think it's going to be a very positive year."
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward has 95 goals and 163 assists for 258 points and is plus-16 in 424 regular-season NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, Rangers and Panthers.
Wolski was selected by Colorado in the first round (No. 21) of the 2004 NHL Draft.
He registered career highs in goals (23), assists (42) points (65) and games played (80) and tallied four goals and one assist in seven playoff games during the 2009-10 season with Colorado and Phoenix. In 29 career playoff games, Wolski has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points.
The Zabrze, Poland, native participated in the 2007 NHL YoungStars game with new Capitals teammate Mike Green.
The Capitals also announced Wednesday they have re-signed center Zach Hamill, who played 16 games for the Boston Bruins last season. He was acquired in a trade for Chris Bourque on May 26.
Hamill had eight goals and 13 assists in 41 games for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League in 2011-12.
It's a two-way deal that will pay him $800,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.
"Marc-Andre was in the NHL all of last season, and will push for a job with us in the fall," said Ron Francis, Hurricanes vice president of hockey operations. "He has good size and has shown the ability to produce offensively both in the AHL and the NHL."
Gragnani, 25, split the 2011-12 season between the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks, totaling two goals, 15 points and 26 penalty minutes in 58 games. The Montreal native played 44 games with the Sabres and had a plus-10 rating prior to being dealt to the Canucks along with Zack Kassian in exchange for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer on Feb. 27.
Selected by the Sabres in the third round (No. 87) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Gragnani has appeared in 73 career NHL games with Buffalo and Vancouver, registering three goals and 18 points.
Morrow reportedly has become a trade target of the St. Louis Blues, among other teams.
Nieuwendyk addressed those rumors to the Dallas Morning News.
"We had a good talk the other day, and I told him I very much believe there’s a place for him on this team," Nieuwendyk told the newspaper. "I told him I fully expect him to be out there on the power play in front of the net where he’s always been."
Morrow said he plans to be with the Stars next season.
"You asked me: Do I want to be a Dallas Star, and the answer is definitely yes," Morrow said. "If they want to trade me or they indicate to me that they don’t want me, then obviously I don’t want to be there or stand in their way. But, until they say that they want to trade me or ask me to waive my no-trade clause, then I’m excited to be on the team and I’m ready to get going next season."
Morrow, 34 in January, has one year remaining on his contract. The forward was limited by injuries to 57 games last season -- he had 11 goals and 15 assists. In 2010-11, he scored 33 goals playing all 82 games.
"I feel good where we are right now, but I also know things change," Morrow said. "Right now, I’m just focused on me and my health. I figure if I take care of that, everything else will work out fine."
The Stars added free-agent forwards Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr and traded for Derek Roy this summer. They have traded away forwards Mike Ribeiro and Steve Ott.
The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that Roy needs shoulder surgery and could be sidelined until November.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting the Blues could be one of a few teams interested in Morrow, who the Stars could make available for the right price.
Morrow, 33, had the worst statistical season of his career in 2011-12, with 11 goals and 15 assists while playing 57 games due to neck and back issues. It's a big slide from 2010-11, when he had a career-best 33 goals.
In 806 NHL games, all with the Stars, Morrow has 237 goals (78 on the power play) and 280 assists, with seven 20-goal seasons and two 30-goal seasons. However, he's played at least 70 games just four times in the past seven seasons.
The Stars this summer have added free-agent forwards Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, and with Morrow entering the last season of his contract, Dallas could be looking at moving him.
Armstrong and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock know Morrow well. Armstrong worked in the Stars' front office when Morrow was drafted and was general manager when the team named him captain in 2006. Hitchcock was Morrow's coach in his first three NHL seasons.
However, the newspaper reports the Blues aren't the only team that could be interested in Morrow, naming the Rangers, Sharks and Kings as other possible suitors.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Tuesday the club has signed right wing Teddy Purcell to a three-year contract extension. Financial terms of the deal, which runs through the 2015-16 season, were not released.
Purcell was entering the last season of a two-year contract and would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.
Purcell set career highs last season in goals (24), assists (41) and points (65) while playing 81 games for the second straight season. He led the team with a plus-9 rating, was second in assists and power-play goals (eight), and third in goals and points.
He had an 11-game point streak from Feb. 21-March 8, and played for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, finishing with two points in eight games.
"I felt like the past two seasons I’ve really played to my strengths, which have helped me become a full-time NHL player with Tampa Bay," Purcell told the Lightning's website. "I really don’t think there is a better fit for me and I still believe I can get better every day, so I’m looking forward to remaining with the Lightning and taking my game another step."
After playing parts of three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, Purcell joined the Lightning on March 3, 2010 in a trade and quickly earned a full-time NHL job. In 181 games over the past three seasons with the Lightning, Purcell has 44 goals and 82 assists.