They haven't made any public predictions, but the Chicago Blackhawks don't plan on handing over the Stanley Cup next season.
Team captain Jonathan Toews couldn't bear to see another team have as much fun as the champion Blackhawks have had the past few weeks.
The 22-year-old Toews is winding down a dream season. He helped Canada win a gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics before leading the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup in 49 years, snagging the Conn Smythe award along the way. The accolades continued on Monday when he was introduced as the cover boy for EA Sports' NHL '11 video game, a year after teammate and good friend Patrick Kane had the honor.
"I never wanted to tell Kaner or admit to it, but I was pretty jealous last year," Toews said. "It was a pretty cool thing for him, and I never really expected to get it this year. It's a dream come true. I think it's an awesome thing to be a part of, and the year after Kaner did it. It's really cool, it kind of tops this year off."
The Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals in six games. Apparently, it was a good thing for Toews and the Blackhawks the series ended in six games. Toews said he hurt his knee during Game 6. How serious was the injury?
"Not bad at all. Just a slight tweak but still something I had to play through," Toews said.
Toews said winning the Cup actually exceeded his expectations.
"It's tough to really imagine it would," Toews said. "The little things like hoisting the Cup for the first time, those moments you dream about whether it's in a quiet building in Philadelphia or the place going nuts in Chicago. It really doesn't matter. That moment and being in the locker room with the guys spraying champagne, that's the moment you truly remember, you truly cherish. Whatever comes after that is an added bonus."
Toews still is planning one of those added bonuses that comes with winning the Cup. Every player is allowed to take the Cup wherever they like, and Toews looks forward to bringing it to his native Winnipeg to show it off to a growing throng of Blackhawks fans in his hometown.
"We're hoping for a day in August," Toews said. "We're trying to work that out right now. I think it will die down a little bit before then so it might be better to have it later on in the summer. We might have some type of parade where a lot of fans can show up in Winnipeg.
"There's a lot of new Chicago Blackhawks fans if they weren't before, so the support there is pretty incredible. I'll definitely take it around town, to my old rink where I grew up playing to share with family and friends. It's going to be an awesome time."