Chicago celebrates Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win
By Andrew Stern
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Two million fans turned out to celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks' National Hockey League championship with a ticker-tape parade on Friday, roaring their approval of the team's first Stanley Cup in half a century.
Youthful goal scorers Patrick Kane and team captain Jonathan Toews took turns hoisting the silver Stanley Cup from atop a fleet of open-air buses that coursed through the teeming streets of the city's famous Loop to a stage erected alongside the Chicago River.
"The Cup's here and we'd love it to stay here a little longer," coach Joe Quenneville told the crowd, referring to the team's young core.
The NHL title was the fourth overall for the Blackhawks, one of the league's six longest-running franchises, but their first since 1961 and the winning days of "The Golden Jet" Bobby Hull and fellow Hall of Famer Stan Mikita.
Hull, who had been estranged from the team for years, beamed and shook hands as his name was announced.
"It's been a long season," forward Patrick Sharp said, with many of his teammates clad in shorts and sandals.
"We've got a goalie (Antti Niemi) who can stand on his head. We've got a lot of guys good at scoring goals. One guy is good at singing songs," he said, introducing Kris Versteeg who shouted a rapid-fire rap hailing the team's success.
Forecast rain storms held off, but some in the crowd succumbed on a hot and humid day. Continued...