Blackhawks

Blackhawks

Blackhawks 2010 and 2015 Stanley Cup champion Kris Versteeg, who officially retired from pro hockey on Tuesday, joined NBC Sports Chicago's Sports Talk Live Thursday. 

One of the interesting tidbits that came from the forward reminiscing about the early years of the Blackhawks dynasty was how much the fans of their rivals despised them.

"When we where in Vancouver, and if we go from the hotel on the bus, there was like hundreds of people outside our hotel, screaming at us," Versteeg told STL host David Kaplan. "And then during the game obviously, all the rivalries from the game. Then after the game, we park in this little like loading dock and above us was fans and up the loading dock was people too and I remember people barking. 

"Ben Eager at one time, was going on the bus and people were going at him and he was going at them and we thought there's actually going to be a fight in the tunnel. But that's how intense it actually got sometimes away from the arena. 

"You did have to be careful, especially with the rivalry we had and how, man, hockey is basically religion out there in Vancouver, and how serious they took it. But it was just crazy the amount of people that were outside of our hotel waiting for us to come from the hotel onto the bus and head to the games." 

 

RELATED: Kris Versteeg saw official grab puck from Patrick Kane's 2010 Game 6 OT goal

Philadelphia Flyers fans were just as sinister if not more so during the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. Kris recalled their um... passion? ahead of Game 6.

"I remember getting out of the hotel and getting on the bus and there's people with basically pitchforks standing up and there was a body, like a mannequin body on one of these signs and the head was chopped off with a skate and it said: "Hawks are gonna die" and I was like, 'What is going on?' And this was on the way to the rink.

"And we heard there was some biker gang, not like a biker gang but they have bikes or rode bikes and they were all together and they were going to stop us from getting to the rink, so they had to have the police — they escorted us to every game — but they were worried they were going to stop us on the road and put all their street bikes on the road to block us from getting to the game. I vividly remember that because we [had] to get on there before they [could] get on the highway to block us from getting to the game on time."

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