Chicago — Thousands of fans turned out Thursday to cheer the Blackhawks as they celebrated their third Stanley Cup championship in six years with a downtown parade and a rally at Soldier Field.
Goaltender Corey Crawford told the fans: "You guys made this unbelievable."
Duncan Keith, the defenseman from Michigan State who won the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoffs MVP, hinted at another win saying, "Four sounds better than three."
Jonathan Toews kissed and hoisted the Cup as he was introduced toward the end of the raucous rally at Soldier Field.
"We all know this is amazing to be able to hoist this thing," a hoarse Toews said. "But to do it on home ice in front of you guys, in front of our fans, to share this with you guys, the best fans in the world — it doesn't get any better than this."
He thanked the crowd and added: "Maybe the only way it does get better is if we win four."
Former Blackhawks star Stan Mikita, who suffers from a progressive brain disorder, wasn't left out.
"Stan … we're thinking of you," said Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Pat Foley, the emcee.
The Blackhawks beat the Lightning in Game 6 on Monday night, and they haven't stopped celebrating since.
Former NHL players Terry Murray and Dave Barr (Red Wings) will be joining Sabres coach and Grand Haven native Dan Bylsma's staff.
Murray is the uncle of Sabres general manager Tim Murray.
... The Penguins hired former Bruins coach Mike Sullivan to lead their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Sullivan replaces John Hynes, who left to become coach of the Devils.
... The Senators signed coach Dave Cameron to a two-year extension. Cameron, 56, was promoted in December after Paul MacLean was fired.
... The Wild placed veteran left wing Matt Cooke on waivers for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release.
... The Canucks signed goaltender Joe Cannata.