Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NHL [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Rahm Emanuel praises Blackhawks

ESPN.com news services

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the Chicago Blackhawks' second Stanley Cup title in four years and said the city will have a "great celebration" for its team set for Friday.

"It's a storybook beginning of a season and it ended with the miracle on ice for 17 seconds," Emanuel said Tuesday on "The Carmen & Jurko Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "If somebody had written that script in Hollywood it would have been rejected. It's just not possible. It's one thing to high-five for tying up a game but then high-five 10 seconds later for winning a game."

The Hawks beat the Boston Bruins with two goals in 17 seconds late in the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 Cup-clinching victory.

Now, the city turns its attention to honoring its Hawks. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. CT Friday and run from the United Center to Grant Park.

"We're going to have a great celebration," Emanuel said. "We're going to have a great celebration because this was a great season and a great team deserves a great celebration by the city that's very proud of them. We're going to get all that information out in short order. We're working through it. I've got to be honest, nobody wanted to jinx it ... the good news is we have a model from four years ago, but nobody worked on it for fear of jinxing it."

Hours after returning from their Game 6 victory, the Hawks gave awed fans a close-up look at the gleaming Stanley Cup on Tuesday, hauling its prize around to bars and restaurants around the city for the second time in four seasons.

Just like in 2010, the Blackhawks' first stop was at Harry Caray's in suburban Rosemont, where more than a thousand fans were waiting before sunrise in hopes the team would again use the Italian steakhouse to kick off its party. Players took turns lifting the trophy above their heads as fans went wild, still barely able to fathom the two third-period goals just 17 seconds apart that gave the Hawks the win.

"I was in shock. ... I jumped up so high that I stubbed my toe," Frank Espinoza told WBBM radio at Harry Caray's, recalling the stunning pair of goals. "I didn't realize it until the game was over; I felt a pain in my toe afterwards."

The team and their families wound their way through Chicago in a convoy of limos and buses under police escort and trailed by TV news helicopters. At their second stop, The Scout bar in the South Loop area of downtown, team members greeted cheering fans outside with high-fives before filing into the bar.

Earlier, the team was greeted on the tarmac at O'Hare International Airport with a water cannon salute from about a dozen fire trucks and even more police cars -- all with their lights flashing.

Veteran forward Michal Handzus, who skated with significant injuries, was the first player to emerge from the aircraft, hoisting the Cup above his head with both hands and shaking it several times. Guests, police officers and firemen cheered at the bottom of the stairs.

Players, coaches and team officials mingled with the crowd for about 10 minutes before heading for the city to continue the party at locations that were kept secret until the team showed up.

"This is completely amazing," said Willis Morgan, a 24-year-old electrical engineer, soaking up the scene of celebration at Harry Caray's.

"I watched the game at work on my phone and then we came right over," he told the Daily Herald newspaper of Arlington Heights. "Having the Stanley Cup back in Chicago is unbelievable."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.