Friday, June 06, 2008

Everybody loves a parade!

The Red Wings celebration wound its way down Woodward Avenue on Friday, a sea of red and white that cheered on the locals (by way of Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada, Czech Republic, America and beyond) as captain Niklas Lidstrom hoisted Lord Stanley’s mug high for Hockeytown’s overjoyed fans.

Covered live on Detroit television, the celebration highlighted Detroit’s ongoing attachment to the game and their unrivalled enthusiasm for one of hockey’s legendary franchises.

Watching the parade on television, you can’t help and wonder what’s going through the minds of hockey fans across the Detroit River across hockey’s homeland.

In Montreal, where Stanley Cup parades are not an unknown thing, they are probably refining plans for the grand celebration down Rue. St. Catherine and on to Place Ville Marie, they thought they were close this year, but fate delayed the celebration for now.

In Ottawa, they’ve probably dusted off their parade route blueprint, an often gazed at document that many thought would have had to have been used a few times over the last few years, From Parliament Hill where Stanley would finally be home down Bank Street to Frank Clair Stadium (or what’s left of it), the national capital celebration would have been a spectacular pageant, if only the team might have cooperated.

Calgary held a Stanley Cup parade when the city was still a young member of the NHL fraternity and not the giant Canadian metropolis that it has become. A town that annually puts on one of the greatest outdoor shows in the world would have no problems putting together a celebration of hockey’s ultimate goal.

In Edmonton, all they need to do is pull out the video of past celebrations, fill up the cars and trucks with gas and head for Jasper Avenue, after an absence from the top of the heap for a few years now, the city of Champions is most likely anxious to get some more banners printed up once again.

Vancouver came close a couple of times as well in the last few years, but again destiny would be denied. It’s still the dream of many a Canuck fan to watch Stanley travel the streets of downtown Vancouver, but after a disappointing season this year it may be a few more years before they can line the streets on the West coast.

And Toronto, well 1967 was quite a long time ago, but we suspect that this particular time in Maple leaf history, only the truly delusional are making plans to jam Nathan Phillips Square any time soon to see Stanley, the best they can do for now is just pay the admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame and dream of a better future.

Detroit's Day of Celebration coverage:

For those that want to share the feeling of a Stanley Cup celebration, YouTube has been filling up with Stanley Cup Parade clips through the day, a few of which we provide below.
Down Woodward Avenue

To Hart Plaza for the speeches

A warning to politicians everywhere, (especially those in political trouble) big crowds and politicians don't always mix

And now Stanley must travel one on one...

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