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GRIFFINS TO LORD STANLEY: WE MEET AGAIN!


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Thanks to the Stanley Cup Finals pairing of the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks, at least one former member of the Grand Rapids Griffins will have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the third straight year and the fifth time in the last six seasons.

Flyers forward Ville Leino (2008-09) and reserve defenseman Danny Syvret (2006-07) are attempting to join 13 other Grand Rapids alumni whose names already adorn the most famous trophy in sports, while Blackhawks forward Tomas Kopecky (2002-06) is trying to become the first former Griffin to win the Cup twice.

Mark Eaton became lucky alumnus no. 13 with Pittsburgh last June; Detroit’s Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Jiri Hudler, Kopecky, Niklas Kronwall, Brett Lebda, Darren McCarty, Derek Meech and Chris Osgood were added to the cup in 2008; Kevyn Adams won it with Carolina in 2006; and both Dmitry Afanasenkov and Darren Rumble captured the chalice with Tampa Bay in 2004. 

After pacing the Griffins with 13 points (3-10—13) during the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs, Leino currently leads all NHL rookies and ranks fifth overall on the Flyers with four goals (tied) and 12 points in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Kopecky, meanwhile, has appeared in 11 postseason contests for the Blackhawks, contributing four points (3-1—4) while helping Chicago reach the finals for the first time since 1992.

Chicago will host Games 1 and 2 of the Finals this Saturday, May 29 and next Monday, May 31.

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