The Chicago Blackhawks rewarded their loyal fans with their second Stanley Cup parade and rally in the last four years. The events took place early Friday afternoon. The parade started on Washington Street and finished on Hutchinson Field. The players and staff, along with their family and friends, then made their way to Grant Park where the rally was held. There were estimates of over two million people in attendance for the parade and the rally, surpassing the total from 2010.
Nina Falcone from Comcast SportsNet Chicago released an incredible photo on her twitter page.
This city is pretty darn great. pic.twitter.com/uMeuMwXof0— Nina Falcone (@NinaFalcone) June 28, 2013
The fans were very excited as they celebrated throughout the day. They were also very respectful of city officials and law enforcement. Unfortunately, there was one incident prior to the parade with a man being arrested for carrying two guns. Luckily the Chicago police department took care of the situation before anything escalated.
During the parade, the players and staff rode on buses throughout the town of Chicago. They were loving every minute of it, as were the fans. Captain Jonathan Toews had the honor of riding with the Stanley Cup. Once the buses had finished the route set out for the parade, the events shifted to Grant Park where the rally was taking place.
As the rally began, there were videos played for all the viewers. The first video was a montage dedicated to the history of the Blackhawks and their legends. The second video was a compilation of the Blackhawks' 2012-2013 season. You could hear the crowd roaring as they showed clips from the playoff run and the game winner in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Blackhawks television play-by-play announcer, Pat Foley, conducted the rally by introducing the staff and players. Foley started off by introducing the crowd to Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, and Pierre Pilote. He then went on to list all the members of the Blackhawks staff – all who played an important role in getting the team to where it is today.
After the legends and staff were introduced, it was time to bring out the players on the 2013 Stanley Cup team. As each player was being introduced, Pat Foley said a line or two describing their accomplishments and what they mean to the team.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, who led the team with 10 goals in the playoffs, elected to take the microphone to address the crowd:
In 2010 you guys waited 49 years to do this. This year we waited three. What do you say we get back here and do it again next year?
Dave Foley then took the microphone again and continued to introduce the rest of the Blackhawks players. Each of them came out waving and smiling to the crowd.
Patrick Kane, who won the 2013 Conn Smythe trophy for being voted the best player in the playoffs, was the next to take the podium. He addressed the crowd by thanking them for their support and telling them that they make hockey fun. He then reached into a bag and said he had a present. Inside the bag was a championship belt. It is the belt that the Blackhawks give out after every game to the player who made the biggest impact. Kane went on saying:
I think it should go to the best player in the playoffs. Number 50, Corey Crawford.
It was a great sign of respect from Kane to give his goalie recognition for his standout performance in the 2013 playoffs. Crawford then went to the microphone and gave a quick speech – most of which was filled with excitement and profanity.
Lastly, Captain Jonathan Toews was introduced as he brought out the Stanley Cup over his head. He then went on to thank the city and the fans, as well as giving credit to his teammates for their hard work.
The rally ended with confetti dropping and Chelsea Dagger playing in the background – the song the Blackhawks play at home games after every goal. The Blackhawks players and staff then began to pass around the Stanley Cup to each other and hold it up for the crowd.
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