Suburban Blackhawks fans soak in Stanley Cup again
McDonough brings Cup home to Elk Grove
If the Chicago Blackhawks keep winning NHL championships, fans in Elk Grove Village will keep getting to see Lord Stanley's Cup, team President and CEO John McDonough pledged Saturday.
The Stanley Cup continued its victory tour Saturday morning in McDonough's hometown, stopping for a 20-minute rally on a soccer field near village hall, where fans gathered for the occasion in a mix of red Hawks sweaters and rain gear.
"It was short and sweet," Denise Ambrose of Elk Grove said about the celebration. "It's good to see the Cup, even from a distance."
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said his town was thrilled to share again in the "excitement and prominence" of hosting the Stanley Cup and saluting McDonough, the man whose leadership made the hockey squad's recent success possible.
"Rain or shine, the Cup is king in Elk Grove," Johnson said to the crowd of between 800 and 1,000 gathered on a drizzly morning. "But the real king is the man that made it happen."
McDonough called it "humbling and rewarding" to bring his team's trophy home for a third time to Elk Grove, where he and his wife raised their three children.
"I know that the official home of the Stanley Cup is in Toronto, Canada. But I feel here in the Chicago area, the official home of the Stanley Cup is here in Elk Grove Village," McDonough said, drawing cheers.
Even after three championships in six years, Saturday offered the first glimpse of the Stanley Cup for many front-row fans.
"This is like something off my bucket list," said longtime Blackhawks fan Denise Roberts, 58, of Elk Grove Village, who has followed the team since she was 11. "It's been my life's dream to see the Stanley Cup."
Also in the front row were friends Matt Georgoulis, 11, of Des Plaines, Alex Kreplin, 13, of Round Lake, and Jackson Bullman, 11, of Gurnee, all excited to see the cup in person for the first time after a season of watching the Hawks skate to success. "It was a thrill," Matt said about the Hawks' run to this year's championship. "It was even better than every other year because the commissioner called us a dynasty."
Revelers in Elk Grove Village aren't expecting the fun of celebrating top-quality hockey -- and the sport's top award -- to end anytime soon. As they celebrated this year's Stanley Cup with Jim Cornelison's national anthem, streamers, fireworks and a loud rendition of "Chelsea Dagger," there were already hopes and plans for another Stanley celebration.
"If we keep winning 'em," McDonough said, "I'm going to keep bringing 'em back to Elk Grove."