Join hockey's most prized trophy as it parties throughout the summer of 2009. As each member of the Pittsburgh Penguins assumes possession of the Stanley Cup for one day, get an insider's view through exclusive stories, videos, and photographs via the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup chaperone (aka "White Gloves") - no one gets closer! The Stanley Cup Journal is presented by Trib Total Media and content is provided by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Magnitogorsk, Russia have a great deal in common. They are both large, industrial cities whose key industry for decades has been steel manufacturing. As the crow flies (and boy, are his wings tired), it is a trip of 5,505 miles or 8,859 kms between the two. But for hockey fans, the common denominator between the two is Evgeni Malkin.
Yevgeniy Vladimirovich Malkin was born in Magnitogorsk, on the Siberian side of the southern extent of the Ural mountain range. The city's name loosely translates to 'city of the magnetic mountain,' referring to the iron-laden Magnitnaya mountain that lies there on the Ural River.
The air hung heavy at 9AM on Monday, August 31 when the Stanley Cup arrived in Magnitogorsk to be greeted by the guy teammates and fans alike call 'Gino.' Evgeni first took the Cup to an arena, where teachers had brought their students to see the local hockey hero and the Cup he worked so hard to help bring to his team. The youngsters were all dressed up properly as though it was school picture day. A few of the teachers made speeches, and then Evgeni lifted a child onto his shoulders and together, they rang a bell, which may very well have indicated the official beginning of the school year.
Just outside the gargantuan Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works stands an enormous statue depicting a labourer handing a newly-forged sword to a soldier with which to slay enemies of the State. During the Second World War, every second Soviet tank was manufactured from steel produced in this steel mill. Malkin ensured that he got photos taken in front of his hometown's icon.
Geno and friends took the Stanley Cup to JagaJaga for a tasty lunch of fish, potatoes and Caesar salad with mandarin oranges.
A parade of limousines took Malkin and his friends to the steel mill for a two-hour tour. On the way there, Evgeni sat on the limo with the Stanley Cup on its roof. The public was also invited to the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works.