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Anze Kopitar’s run to Stanley Cup finals creates “pretty big buzz” in Slovenia

Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02: Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts to a missed chance against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at Staples Center on April 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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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.