10-6 Joe Sager talks to Washington County native George Parros of the Anaheim Ducks
This summer, the Stanley Cup took up residence in California.
Yet, the legendary trophy still came to the Pittsburgh area.
Anaheim Ducks winger George Parros brought the Stanley Cup back “home” on Aug. 24 to Scenery Hill in Washington County. That’s where the 6-foot-5, 215-pound winger was born and spent the first three years of his life.
|George Parros won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks last season |
“I have a lot of family and friends down in Scenery Hill, which is right outside of Washington,” he said. “My uncle’s dairy farm is there and we have a ton of extended family there. My dad grew up here as well as his entire side of the family, too. We always went back and spent summers on the farm and stuff like that. So, I am no stranger to the area and we like it a lot.”
So, a huge throng of family and friends turned out at Chuck Wonsettler’s farm for a celebratory pig roast with the Stanley Cup.
“Yeah it was great. We had everybody out – it was really a good chance to get the whole family together for a big family reunion,” Parros said. “It was just a great time to have everyone there and have a little celebration and a reason to celebrate.”
Following his birth and short stay at Scenery Hill, Parros moved to Columbus, Ohio, and eventually settled in New Jersey. He attended Princeton University and had a solid four-year career with the Tigers’ hockey team.
“Yeah, going to Princeton was different. You definitely spend your time in the classroom as well as on the ice,” he said. “It had its challenges, but I am glad I did it. It was a good experience. It still worked out that I was able to make a professional career out of it, so I am pretty happy.”
The Los Angeles Kings drafted Parros in the eighth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and, following his Princeton career, he turned pro in 2003. He made his NHL debut with the Kings in the 2005-06 season and spent 55 games with Los Angeles.
Colorado claimed the 28-year-old on waivers early last season before he was traded to Anaheim for a second-round draft choice last November.
He’s certainly found a home with the Ducks, who have embraced the physical Parros.
“It’s great. My fans are great,” he said. “It’s always fun to play in front of the home crowd and get the crowd going, so it works out to our advantage sometimes.”
His signature mustache is a common fixture on the faces of many Ducks fans, including rapper Snoop Dogg, who sported the Parros look during last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
|Rapper Snoop Dogg sported a mustache tribute to George Parros during the Stanley Cup playoffs. |
“It’s a fun thing. I have had some good crowd support from it. It started out just having a little bit of fun and it really caught on,” Parros said. “Everyone has fun with it and it’s really taken on a life of its own.”
In addition to his mustache, Parros has long hair. However, that all changes every December as he gets his hair cut and donates it to Locks of Love, a public nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
“I grow my hair out all year long and I cut it in December and give as much of it as I can to Locks of Love,” he said. “They turn it into wigs for kids with cancer or donate the money from it to that foundation, so it’s a good cause.”
Parros is looking forward to playing the Penguins – and returning to the West Coast. The Ducks have had a grueling roadtrip in which they played two games in England and returned to the United States for three games in four nights, concluding with Saturday’s game in Pittsburgh.
“Hopefully, we’ll end it on a good note,” Parros said. “We still have some work to do, so we are looking forward to tonight and looking forward to getting home.”