Some players will go their whole careers without winning a Stanley Cup. For a handful of Chicago Blackhawks, their ship finally came in.
Veterans like Michal Handzus and Michal Rozsival have been playing since the late 1990s without a whiff of the championship. Coming away victorious in Game 6 provided them with a moment they’ll never forget.
“This is the happiest moment of my hockey career,” Rozsival said. “Coming over from the Czech Republic and playing for 15 years here in the NHL and having some ups and downs in my career. To be able to be here right now is an amazing feeling.”
Handzus played for Chicago back in 2006-2007 before things turned around in the Windy City. His return trip turned out to be magical.
“(Laughs) It was a long time ago. It was a different organization for sure,” he said. “Obviously they’ve been great the last five, six years and it shows a great city, a great organization top to bottom.”
For backup goalie Ray Emery, he’s had shots at the Cup with Ottawa in 2007 and Philadelphia in 2010. Now, as part of a Jennings Trophy tandem in Chicago, he’s happy to finally come away with a title in his ninth season.
“I lost in Ottawa, I lost in Philly, and then the third time around I got to enjoy the run too because I was on the outside and supportive. It was a great thing to watch,” he said.
“Every year is its own challenge and this year was a great, great year and a great result at the end.”
If you wonder what it’s like to play for so long and just wind up in the right place at the right time, Handzus was able to sum it up best.
“Sometimes you wonder (if you’ll win it), but you gotta believe,” he said. “Obviously you gotta be lucky and you gotta be in the right spot and I did. I’m thankful to God that I was here.”