May 27, 2012, 10:26 PM EDT
Hockey is truly an international sport, with stars coming from Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden and plenty of other locales. Still, there are some relatively uncharted territories, but the Los Angeles Times reports that Anze Kopitar‘s run to the 2012 Stanley Cup finals is making some waves in his native Slovenia.
“There is actually a pretty big buzz back there,” Kopitar said. “I’ve been going on online and reading some of the news from back there. The Kings are pretty big.”
“There are more and more kids playing hockey.”
As for whether he is responsible, Kopitar said, “Maybe a little.”
There’s another reason to dig Kopitar: (false?) modesty in huge quantities. If you see future Slovenian exports, they’re likely to honor their country’s first true star (sorry, Jan Mursak) by wearing his No. 11 or at least crediting him with inspiration.
Don’t be surprised if a few Los Angeles-born hockey players claim Kopitar as their hero too, though.
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues 74
- Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18 3
- Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage 32
- Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension 9
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 12
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 15
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 37
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 15
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications (94)
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues (75)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick (73)