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Q&A: Bruno Campese on the Stanley Cup

On Sunday, Oct. 15, Las Vegas Golden Knights scout Bruno Campese will bring the Stanley Cup to Nelson. Campese was part of the team that won the Cup this past season and as part of a tradition that began in 1995, he can take it anywhere he wants for a day. While the Cup has been to Nelson twice before, both in 2007, he is the first member of a championship team to bring it to the city. We asked him about it.

You live in West Kelowna, so why did you decide to bring the cup to Nelson?
When they asked where I wanted to take it, my first thought was absolutely bring it to Nelson. I was born and raised there. I played my minor hockey there. I played with the junior Leafs. I started my coaching career with the junior Leafs. I still have family and friends there. And even though I don’t spend a lot of time there, for me it’s home and it’s an opportunity to thank the city of Nelson and those people who have helped me along the way.

What was it like to be part of a Cup-winning team?
It’s hard to put into words. The best I can describe it is just exhilarating. As a kid you see the Stanley Cup and think wouldn’t it be cool to be part of something like that? But as you move along in the game, as a player it doesn’t happen, and as a coach it doesn’t happen, then maybe as management. I’ve been very fortunate to stay in the game this long and be part of a scouting/management group where we finally achieved it. They can’t take it away.

How does the Cup tour work?
The NHL and the team that wins it allow the players and staff to have the Cup for a day or half-day. I know it’s been cross-crossing all over North America and into Europe with players and management. Scouting staff is up next. It’s a great opportunity. You get to choose where you want the Cup. NHL personnel travel with it and bring it to the location and make sure you’re taking good care of it. It’s a neat opportunity. It’s an iconic trophy so to have it in your hands where you want it is unique.

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When it is here, anybody can come and get their picture with it?
Absolutely. I have it for a short time. There are some personal things I’m going to do with it but I’m going to open it up to the public. It will be on display on the concourse. It’s an opportunity for minor hockey kids or people who have a passion for hockey to have a look at it or have their picture taken. We don’t get the Cup for long, so it’s kind of neat to take a couple of hours and let the community share in it. It’s just a cool experience.

I’m down in Vegas right now for training camp. I asked some guys on our management staff who have had it how it went and they said it’s crazy. It’s like a magnet. People want to see it or get their picture with it. I don’t know what to expect, whether 10 people will show up or 100 people. They did say expect more than less.

It’s a very hard trophy to win because of the way the playoff series are set up. Then I think it’s the only professional sport that allows the Cup to travel to do things like this. It’s gone everywhere. Wherever our players are from, it’s been there. Other than going to the Hockey Hall of Fame to see it in the case, you’d never be able to get that up and close and personal with it. The NHL has done a really smart thing. They’re promoting the game by allowing me to take it to Nelson. Hopefully it inspires a younger generation of minor hockey players. Like, “That guy came from Nelson and he won a Stanley Cup?”

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