Story by Adrian Brijbassi
Vacay.ca Managing Editor
Football players may go to Disneyland after winning a championship, Dave Bolland is a hockey player and he is going to Mimico.
The Chicago Blackhawks‘ centre clinched his team’s second Stanley Cup in three years with a last-minute goal in the third period of Game 6 on Monday night. Following the stunning 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, Bolland told the CBC that the Cup is coming back to his hometown. “We know where it’s going, back to the Blue Goose,” he said, naming the tavern that is the small Ontario community’s favourite watering hole.
Mimico is 12 kilometres from downtown Toronto and has a population of about 30,000 people. It is on Lake Ontario, has a couple of community events of note, including an annual Tulip Festival, and the venerable Blue Goose Tavern, which has been operating since 1971. When Bolland brought the Cup to the bar after the Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2009-10 NHL Finals, the town was out in force to greet him and the honoured chalice.
Vacay.ca follower Harvey Brown was on hand and had his picture taken with Bolland and the Cup. It’s a moment that will likely be recreated some time this summer when the most cherished trophy in sports makes a return visit to the village by the lake. Each member of the victorious Blackhawks will have the Cup for one day, a tradition since the earliest days of the championship.
It will travel to Winnipeg early on its tour, because the Manitoba capital is the home of Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews, a hero in Game 6 with a goal and an assist. It will have a vacation in Slovakia, the home of forwards Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus, and may take up residence in Sweden, where four active Blackhawks live in the offseason. In North America, the Cup will travel as far south as Winston-Salem, North Carolina (home of Ben Smith) and St. Charles, Missouri (home of Brandon Bollig).
Bolland is one of six Chicago players who hail from Ontario. He secured the title, the Blackhawks’ fifth in 87 years, when he batted in a rebound off the end boards and into the Bruins’ net, picking the puck off the ice while it was still behind goaltender Tuukka Rask. The goal came with 58 seconds to play and just 18 seconds after teammate Bryan Bickell scored to tie the game in Boston at 2-2. Patrick Kane of Buffalo, New York was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP. The Game 6 win capped a riveting and wonderfully entertaining Stanley Cup series. It crowned a team that was the best in the league during the lockout-shortened regular season and had more talent and determination than any of its playoff opponents.
“We’ve been through a lot together this year, and this is a sweet way to finish it off,” Toews told reporters after the game.
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