The Stanley Cup victory tour for the Vegas Golden Knights will touch down in the West Kootenay on Oct. 15 with a visit from Nelson-raised Bruno Campese.
One of the most legendary trophies in all of sport has been crisscrossing the globe since the Knights defeated the Florida Panthers in June to claim the franchise’s first NHL title. As is tradition with the historic chalice, players, coaches and team staff have been taking turns with the Cup.
Raised on the ice of Nelson’s Civic Centre Arena, Campese has dedicated his life to hockey as a player, coach, general manager and professional scout at all levels of the game.
A goaltender, highlights of his outstanding playing career featured two BCHL championships with the Penticton Knights in 1980 and 1981, a Memorial Cup Championship with the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks in 1983, a long professional career in Europe and representing Italy in many international competitions including the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.
Campese began his second career in the game almost immediately after packing up the pads, starting as the head coach of the Nelson Junior Leafs before moving on to the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters in the 2000-01 season. After stops with the Calgary Hitman (WHL) and Penticton Vees (BCHL), he became the head coach and general manager of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders in 2007.
An amateur scout with the Golden Knights since the expansion team entered the NHL in 2016, Campese has been a key member of the staff that has built a perennial Stanley Cup contender and champion.
Though he lives in West Kelowna when away from the rink, Campese chose hometown surroundings as his stop with the Stanley Cup. The entire community is invited to share in the celebration that will take place at the Nelson and District Community Complex on Sunday, Oct. 15 between noon and 2 p.m. There will be a brief introduction by Campese at 1 p.m. and all are invited to capture photos with the Stanley Cup.
The Cup has been to Nelson before, for CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada in 2007. It returned later that year as part of the World Junior Hockey Challenge.
Other Kootenaians have also brought it to the area, including Cranbrook-raised Scott Niedermayer, who was part of four Cup-winning teams.