Chicago Blackhawks: Thailand
February, 26, 2013
By Scott Powers
Courtesy of Naz BrownJohnny Oduya led the Farangs, an amateur team in Thailand, to their first championship.The puck scored by Patrick Kane to win the Chicago Blackhawks the 2010 Stanley Cup may have gone missing, but at least they didn't lose the trophy itself.
That's the issue the Flying Farangs of Bangkok, Thailand encountered after winning their own tournament for the first time in 18 years on Oct. 27. At some point in the early hours of the following day after the team took pictures with the trophy, drank beer out of it and even accidentally broke one of its handles, the Farangs misplaced the Land of Smiles Ice Hockey Classic trophy.
Farangs general manager/coach/player Scott Murray believes Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya, then a Farang playing in Thailand because of the NHL lockout, may be responsible for the missing trophy. Oduya, like the rest of the team, says he doesn't know where it is.
Courtesy of Naz BrownSoon after the Farangs won the championship, the trophy disappeared.
The thing is Murray nor anyone else on the team really cares if they see the trophy again. Without Oduya, the Farangs, an amateur team with players of various ages and hockey backgrounds, understand they would never have won the tournament or been given the priceless experience of skating beside an NHL player. That's all that matters to them.
"It was just cool," Murray, a Canadian native, said by phone recently from Thailand. "We had been there so many times and never won it. We felt like idiots. It was euphoric. We had Oduya. We had a professional on the team. Here, he was (Wayne) Gretzky. In the arena, it was Johnny this and Johnny that."