blackhawks The first off the plane was captain Jonathan Toews, the 22 year old was carrying the Stanley Cup.  Toews was named MVP and awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy.  “I think the pilots are sick and tired of us (celebrating),” said Toews smiling.


At 4:06 of overtime, Patrick Kane scored for the Hawks and they won for the first time in 49 years.  Chicago last won in 1961 over Detroit, when led by Stan Makita and Bobby Hull.  “This is something I will never forget,” said Kane.


The Philadelphia home crowd was stunned when Kane scored in overtime, as the goal judge did not turn on the red light.


“I knew we had a chance to win it all at the beginning of the season.  In the locker room before overtime we just challenged each other.  Who is going to step up?  I asked everyone,” continued Toews.


“I think Kane was the only one who knew the goal was good,” Blackhawk coach Joel Quenneville said.  Kane started to celebrate immediately but the crowd and other players remained stunned as the puck was caught in the net and out of sight.

Afterward, as the Blackhawks celebrated on the Wachovia Center ice with the Stanley Cup, veteran center John Madden said, “It’s just unbelievable. I have to thank (former Chicago GM) Dale Tallon for calling me on July 1, with this in mind and I hope this is not the last one. I’m so happy for the organization, for Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough.  It is Madden’s third Stanley Cup, two with New Jersey.  He also led the University of Michigan to the 1995-96 NCAA Championship.  Madden had his children on the ice celebrating with him.  Ten year old, Tyler and seven year old, Reese got to hold the Stanley Cup with their father.    


The victory was also redemption for Marion Hossa as he just missed being on the winning team for Detroit and Pittsburg the previous two seasons.

Finally, Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz, the man who saw to the franchise’s turnaround, can smile.  The Chicago Blackhawks are on top of the hockey world.  They are also on top of all of Chicago.  They just aren’t the fifth franchise anymore. 



Photo: Jacek Urbanczyk, Chicago.



Megan McDonald, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events announced, a parade will begin about 10:30 a.m. when players and front office staffers will be on a double-decker bus traveling through the central business district and down Michigan Avenue in a parade that will end at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive with a pep rally.

McDonald spoke at a 6 a.m. press conference with several other city officials Thursday at the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.  McDonald said the event is scheduled to end around noon and said there could be as many as 350,000 people attending — the amount estimated when the Chicago White Sox won the World Series in 2005.   “I hope that everybody celebrates in a classy and stylish and respectful way,’’ McDonald said.  “Other parade attractions are being formulated as we speak,” continued McDonald.

 “We will always keep in mind safety and security for everyone who will be traveling throughout the city,’’ Jose Santiago said.  Santiago is Director of the OEMC.

Spokesman for the Chicago Transit Authority, Richard Rodriguez urged everyone traveling into the Loop Friday to allow for plenty of extra time for travel because buses on the parade route will be detoured.  “Allow the CTA to get you home safely,’’ Rodriguez said.

For Friday’s event, the activities are being titled ‘Family Friendly’.  The weekend will be crowded with downtown activities.  In addition to the parade and rally, Blues Fest and the Crosstown Classic also begin Friday.  The White Sox will begin a three game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field starting Friday.   

Mayor Richard Daley, who McDonald said is possibly the city’s biggest Hawks fan, is expected to attend the rally where the players can talk to the fans and the city will have a chance to thank them. 

The Blackhawk jersey will stay on the Michael Jordan statue in front of the United Center to continue to honor the championship team.

(Raymond Rolak is an aviation writer based in Michigan)