Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup Parade And Rally

By Sean Fitzgerald

In case people missed it the Chicago Blackhawk won their sixth Stanley Cup in Franchise History and their third Stanley Cup in the last six seasons. The weather has been nasty in Chicago the last few days so the rally could not be held in Grant Park. To accommodate the weather conditions in Grant Park, the city extended the parade route and had the rally at Soldier field. The parade began at the United Center and continues all the way to Soldier Field, coming down Monroe and Jefferson and preceded east to Michigan Avenue. The Chicago Sun Times is estimating that two million people watched the Blackhawks parade live in person.

The rally commenced at Soldier Field the home of the Bears. The rally began with Gene Hondo introducing Jim Corneilson and members of the Blackhawks tribe and a member of the armed services. The place was electric after the Anthem just as it was at the United Center for home games. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews brought the Cup out and gave way to Pat Foley. Pat Foley MCed the event. Foley thanked the fans and paid tribute to former Blackhawks player Steve Montador and equipment Clint Reif. Both Montador and Reif had passed this season. The Blackhawks marketing department might the best in the business as they played a video montage of season events. The next video was a brief recap of every victory in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Foley then introduced the entire organization one by one.

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The speeches were kicked off by the Chairman Rocky Wirtz. Wirtz started his speech off with a shot at the Tampa Bay Lightning. He praised the fans and said they were not satisfied with three Stanley Cups. Duncan Keith spoke next reflected on when he came to Chicago 10 years ago and he had to scalp tickets to a Cubs game and they were seated behind a foul pole. Keith stated that he now has the best view in Soldier Field. Keith also said that this cup was for Clint Reif. Clint Reif was the Blackhawks equipment manager that tragically perished this season. Patrick Sharp would have some classy things to say and also reflected on his time with the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford once again stole the show by saying “Mother F*ckin Right Chicago” when he got his spin on the microphone. Brad Richards said that Kane has some pull in this town and that Kaner wants Richards to return.

The tearing jerking moment is when Kris Versteeg took the microphone. Versteeg had been awarded the Blackhawks title belt after Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Versteeg awarded the belt to Clint Reif’s son but the belt was not at the Rally, so Versteeg hoisted Reif’s son over his head. The belt is awarded to the best player during a victory.

Patrick Kane spoke saying that he wanted another Championship and made a joke about Foley’s previous comments. Foley had sad how much Kane had matured. Kane said “wait till you see me this next week”, wink wink. Jonathan Toews spoke last and stated how the Blackhawks will not rest after three Stanley Cup Championships but they are going for four. Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom would rap a song before the song took over the loud speakers and then fireworks went off.

The rally gave me many chills while watching on my lunch hour at work. It was a great rally that capped off a great season. Now it is okay to ask who is going to be traded and who will not return? The 2015 season is now over. The Blackhawks are the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions.

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