It was championship ring and banner ceremony night at the United Center, and the players who helped guide Chicago to its second Stanley Cup crown in the last four seasons had the chance to show off their bling to the fans whose tireless support helped make it all possible.
The team held a private ceremony to officially unveil the rings on Sunday, but that didn't stop the crowd from rocking in the Windy City prior to the team's season-opener against the Washington Capitals.
Just check this Instagram video by the Blackhawks' official account for confirmation:
Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times posted this tweet with a view from inside the stadium:
CSN Chicago's Tracey Myers added one of her own:
Coaches, players and other team personnel were introduced to fans in attendance, and the lengthy presentation included a video montage, the raising of the new championship banner, and a chance for the city to relive the glory before the 2013-14 season officially began.
If you haven't yet seen photos of the championship ring, the team's Instagram account has you covered. Spoiler alert: The designers went all-out.
Unlike the 2010 rings, the 2013 version has color in the design. Emerald Gao detailed the differences in the two rings earlier in the week on the team's official website, while Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune added this helpful tweet:
Team equipment assistant Jim Heintzelman had a side-by-side view of the jewelry:
#Blackhawks' 2010 Cup rings: 91.0 grams, 404 diamonds/gems totaling approx. 8 carats. 2013: 93.0 grams, 260 diamonds/gems, 14.68 carats.— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) September 30, 2013
The Blackhawks blazed a fierce trail when the lockout was lifted and hockey returned last season, setting an NHL record by recording at least one point in each of their first 24 games. With a 36-7-5 record and 77 points in the conference standings, Chicago earned the No. 1 seed out West for the playoffs.
After taking down the Minnesota Wild without much resistance, the Detroit Red Wings threatened to send Chicago home early for the third straight season. Detroit took a 3-1 series lead, but the Blackhawks fired off three consecutive wins to reach the Western Conference Finals.
First class organization !!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Np6KiCMol6— jim heintzelman (@jimbo19ice) September 30, 2013
Chicago fell behind when Boston won Games 2 and 3, but the Blackhawks stormed back to win three straight games to clinch the series in six.
A summer, parade and championship ceremony to kick-start the new year later, the Blackhawks will have the biggest target on their backs this year.
To the victor go the spoils.
It won't be easy to repeat this year, but Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Corey Crawford and Patrick Sharp are all still in the fold and eager to climb the NHL mountain once again. With rings now in hand, motivation for that goal shouldn't be hard to come by.
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