In Game Six, the Blackhawks trailed the Bruins 2-1 with 1:30 to go, but Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland both struck in a matter of 17 seconds to catapult Chicago to its second Stanley Cup victory in four years.
Since the clock struck zero in that game, it's been a party in Chicago, and Friday was no different. The running of the Blackhawks Victory Parade marked the official celebration of the Cup with all of the fans present.
At the parade, which ran from Washington Street to Hutchinson Field in Grant Park, there were upwards of two million people, a true sign of how awesome of a sports town Chicago is. Viktor Stalberg captured it all on his Instagram account.
The players were all in full form, with special recognition to Corey Crawford. After a classy move by Patrick Kane, who handed him a championship belt to serve in place of a Conn Smythe "snub," Crawford showed off his eloquence while addressing the city of Chicago.
Frankly, I couldn't have said it better than John Buccigross did here:
Even with all of the partying, General Manager Stan Bowman and the front office are already trying to ensure that the team will contend for Lord Stanley's Cup again next year. Though they'd love to keep the team intact, it's a sad reality of the salary-cap era that this will not happen.
Already, the team has already declared their intent to use compliance buy-outs on Rostislav Olesz and Steve Montador. In addition, Dave Bolland, the man who scored the Stanley Cup game-winning goal, is on the trading block according to numerous sources.
Old-timers such as Michal Handzus and Jamal Mayers will not be back with the team, if they remain in the league at all. Another player to watch will be Viktor Stalberg, though it is apparent that both parties are ready to move on after he was scratched multiple times in the playoffs.
Still, the team's core will remain the same, and they have drafted very well in recent years. Bowman had to make difficult decisions after their last Cup run, but fans should keep faith knowing they got back to the promised land in short order. Repeating is always difficult, but the 'Hawks should be well-prepared to make yet another run in 2014.
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