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NHL: A day with the Cup

Local Kings employee brings Stanley Cup home for friends and family to see

Posted: September 16, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 16, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Jeremy Zager, a Los Angeles Kings manager of communications, kisses the Stanley Cup on Saturday. Family and friends gathered at Zager's parents' home in Santa Clarita on Saturday to admire the Stanley Cup. The Saugus graduate was able to take the Cup home for four hours.

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Jeremy Zager, a manager in the communications and broadcasting department for the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, lives in Torrance.

As is tradition with Stanley Cup championship teams, they pass around the cup to players and staff to each spend personal time at the place of their choosing with the cup.

Zager calls himself lucky.

He was chosen to have four hours with one of sports’ most recognizable and magnificent trophies.

So he decided to spend time with it at home on Saturday.

Home, not being Torrance, but home being Saugus.

Zager, 33, grew up in Saugus, graduated from Saugus High School, Arroyo Seco Junior High School and Rosedell Elementary.

On Saturday, he, along with friends and family, enjoyed the Stanley Cup in his childhood home where his mother, Renee and father, Ken still live, and where brother, Andrew and sister, Laura grew up in.

“It’s where I kind of grew up loving the game of hockey — that cul-de-sac means a lot to me,” Zager said. “It brings back memories of playing (street hockey) for hours and hours and hours, till it was dark. My parents supported me and my desire to play. I didn’t even give it a second thought (of not bringing the cup to Saugus).”

“You’ve got a situation where all these people are excited. It’s nice to put the woes of the world behind you and have joys and share it with people,” said Ken of having the Cup at his house.

Zager has worked for the Kings for five years.

His love of the game first sparked when he had some neighbors move into the neighborhood from Pittsburgh and in their garage they kept hockey sticks.

That led him to start watching hockey on TV.

It was 1989 — Wayne Gretzky’s first year with the Kings.

Twenty-three years later, he found himself on the ice at Staples Center raising the Stanley Cup on June 11 after the Kings’ 6-1 Game 6 victory.

Friends and family kept his cell phone busy that night.

Saturday was the opportunity for many of them to experience a little piece of the championship for themselves.

“It’s kind of surreal, we played all day from when the sun came up until it was too dark to play, like we were playing for the Cup,” said Douglas Walton, a childhood friend who played street hockey with Zager when they were children.

Zager said his wife Jennifer’s parents flew in from Florida for the occasion.

The Cup sat on a table in the Zager’s front yard just mere feet away from where the nets stood where Zager played street hockey growing up.

Friends and family took turns taking pictures with the giant silver trophy.

Zager said, he was so happy he could share this moment with all of them.

“It’s been amazing. I grew up a big Kings fan, playing hockey on the cul-de-sac here,” Zager said. “And to have it here today, it’s amazing. It’s pretty emotional.”

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