The Blackhawks are officially no longer the defending Stanley Cup champions after the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks, 3-1, on Sunday, but they do have some ties to the current ones.
Mike Sullivan, who took over as Pittsburgh's head coach on Dec. 12, 2015 after a mid-season coaching change, was a member of the Blackhawks' 2015 championship staff by serving as a player development coach and an advanced scout during the playoffs.
One year later, Sullivan is hoisting that trophy once again, this time guiding the Penguins to a 33-16-5 regular-season record and 16-8 postseason record to help bring home their fourth title in franchise history, and Sullivan's first as a head coach.
Former Blackhawks defenseman Trevor Daley, who was acquired by the Penguins days after Sullivan was hired, also played a role in Pittsburgh's run by stabilizing the blue line.
He registered six goals and 16 assists in 53 regular-season games, and added six points in 15 playoff contests before fracturing his ankle in Game 4 of the Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
During the postgame celebration, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby respectfully handed the Stanley Cup off to Trevor Daley, 32, who had gone the longest without a championship among active Penguins players (11 seasons).
After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.
Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.
"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.
"What was said this time around crossed the line."
The Capitals released a statement about the incident:
"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."
The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.
Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.
"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."
The Capitals released the full interview.
Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.
Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.
Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:
After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: