Defending champion Blues surrounded by tough teams in West

FILE - In this June 12, 2019, file photo, St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup after the team defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Tarasenko is thankful for the internet because it allows his grandfather back home in Russia to watch NHL games. Starting this season, Tarasenko’s grandfather and the rest of Russia will be able to watch every single regular-season and playoff game. The NHL is expanding its reach into Russia with a new streaming agreement with Yandex that will more than triple the amount of games broadcast there.

The Stanley Cup, won earlier this year by the St. Louis Blues, will make a stop in Joplin. 

A session for Blues fans to pose with the trophy will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at Joplin City Hall, located at Sixth and Main streets. City officials ask interested fans to use the hall's west door, located on the Joplin Avenue side of the building. 

People may view and take their photo next to the trophy, according to a press release, but will not be allowed to pick it up or move it.

The session marks a stop for the cup en route to a hockey game in Tulsa later that day, according to the release. The Tulsa Oilers are an affiliate of the Blues, and will open its season that evening. No Blues players are scheduled to attend the Joplin session.

The Stanley Cup is one of the oldest trophies in professional sports. Before the NHL adopted it as its trophy in 1926, it was awarded to Canada's highest-ranking team each year in the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, starting in 1893, according to the release. It is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the then-Governor General of Canada.

The Blues won the cup for the first time this year in the team's 52-year history. After ranking near the bottom of NHL standings in January, the team went on an improbable run to win the cup in June in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins. 

Recommended for you