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St. Louis Blues defenceman Robert Bortuzzo hoists the Stanley Cup on June 12 in Boston.

Robert Bortuzzo is expected to bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Thunder Bay in just under three weeks.

According to sources, the St. Louis Blues defenceman will get his turn with the NHL championship on July 16. Bortuzzo and family are planning an autograph and photo session with the Cup at a venue in town, most likely the Da Vinci Centre.

Bortuzzo’s grandfather, the late Sergio Bortuzzo, was a major volunteer at the Da Vinci Centre. The annual bocce tournament there is named in his honour.

Robert Bortuzzo, 30, won his first Stanley Cup this spring after playing in 17 playoff games and scoring twice. The Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games to win the Stanley Cup on June 12.

Bortuzzo completed his fifth season in St. Louis where he netted 10 points in 59 regular season games this past season. 

Blues reward Berube

ST. LOUIS — The Blues made official Tuesday what everyone had expected the moment Craig Berube led St. Louis to a remarkable turnaround capped by the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

They stripped the interim tag from his title and signed him to three-year contract.

Berube had been the interim coach since taking over for Mike Yeo on Nov. 19, but general manager Doug Armstrong acknowledged during the playoffs an extension was a foregone conclusion. And that was before the Blues beat Boston in seven games to hoist the Stanley Cup.

“Craig made an enormous impact on our team when he took over last November,” Armstrong said in a statement. “He restored our identity and provided our players with a clear sense of direction.”

The Blues were in last place at the start of the year, but Berube led them on an 11-game win streak in January and February to position them for the playoffs. They wound up going 38-19-6 in the regular season, then beat the Jets, Stars and Sharks in the playoffs to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

In a dramatic, bruising series, the Blues emerged to win the first title in their 52-year history, helping to give a city still smarting from the loss of the St. Louis Rams a reason to celebrate. An estimated 500,000 fans showed up in a downpour for the championship parade 10 days ago. — The Associated Press

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