Rob Scuderi brings Stanley Cup home to Long Island

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The Stanley Cup, of course, has made many visits to Long Island, having been a fixture here in the 1980s. But Friday, for the first time, someone brought it home.

Rob Scuderi of Syosset and St. Anthony's High School, celebrated having won the Cup with the Penguins and become the first native Long Islander to have his name engraved on hockey's venerable trophy. He brought it to various places at the heart of the island, including the Newbridge Park in Bellmore, where he used to play recreational youth hockey.

"We'd have three-minute shifts, then the buzzer would sound and that was the end of the shift -- even if you were on a breakaway," he said while hundreds of his fellow Long Islanders stood on line for a chance to photograph the Cup, pose with it and get Scuderi's autograph.

"This is where I'm from, where I started playing hockey. I wanted to bring it back here," said the defenseman who has since signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Kings.

Scuderi was born in 1978 and is too young to have known much of the Islanders' Stanley Cup run. But he did hear about it, considering he started playing hockey when he was very young because his dad, Bob, developed a feel for the game while playing for a Nassau County Police Department team.

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Bob was at the Newbridge rink Friday, recalling the times when he would travel to a youth hockey tournament with one son while his wife Leslie would be at another tournament with the other.

Ken, Rob's younger brother, also was at the rink Friday. He recalled how he and Rob used to make their own Cup out of aluminum foil and would dream of holding the real thing (Ken plays for the Rangers' Charlotte affiliate in the ECHL).

Among the Cup's other stops Friday were at a Nassau Police post, in honor of the 31 years Bob spent on the force, and at Bethpage High School, where Leslie teaches chemistry.

But the one that resonated most widely was the public session at the park. For some it brought back memories of the days when the Cup circulated regularly around the Island. For the young generation, it was a whole new world.

"It's amazing," said Henry Jenet, 10, of Malverne, a Rangers fan who was wearing a Penguins jersey in Scuderi's honor. "It's probably the only time in my life I'm going to be able to see the Cup up this close."

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