Chicago Blackhawks Etch More Names On Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is already covered with names of Chicago Blackhawks, but this year's team added another cluster to the most coveted cup in sports.
Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane will live forever in hockey folk lore. The triumvirate that is leading this current dynasty will be remembered for a long time. Three cups in six years. They will be talked about in retrospect like my father, who was raised on the South side, talked about other Chicago greats.
Stan Makita and Tony Esposito would be proud. One of the largest cities in America rejoices yet again, and their fans will do so thoroughly. Beer mugs will be clanked together. Some might get broken out of the force of the celebration. Other Hawks, like Chris Chelios, probably watched somewhere with a smile on their battle worn countenances. Those warriors saw their younger generation of brethren rejoice, in a way very few athletes are familiar with.
Over the next few months, every single individual on the Blackhawks will take the cup on their own personal journey. The men who sacrificed their teeth, bones and sweat will get to enjoy the greatest reward in all of sports.
Imagine taking the ultimate achievement in your line of work back to your home town. Imagine everyone in your home town, or wherever you decide to take it, can see your name engraved on it next to an elite list of legendary names. Now imagine you can do literally ANYTHING you want with it, aside from destroying it, for an entire 24 hour period. That's what the NHL gives to every player on a Stanley Cup Winning team.
See why it's intoxicating? See why players put off major surgeries until the offseason on the quest for the cup?
Patrick Kane will probably drink a few beers out of the Stanley Cup. He hit the goal to put the Blackhawks up 2-0 in the capping game of this year's deciding game. He's 26. A few brews may be poured into the Holy Grail of hockey. Whatever Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Johnny Oduya, Brad Richards, Brandon Saad, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw...and others, would like to do with it is their own prerogative. They earned it.
In the waiting period for their day with the cup, most of the Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning will schedule surgeries for their insane aggregate injuries. Unfortunately for the Lightning and every other NHL team, they will have to fantasize what they would be doing with the cup. The Blackhawks and the citizens of Chicago will be living it.