June 9, 2010 – The Chicago Blackhawks finally clinch a Stanley Cup after 49 grueling years of waiting. Patrick Kane sneaks the puck in under Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton and Blackhawks fans go into a frenzy. Everyone remembers where they were at the moment, and everyone remembers how they celebrated. Here’s how it went down through the eyes of the people covering the game for (then) Comcast SportsNet.
Mike Cappozzo (photographer): Before the game, we interviewed Jonathan Toews’ mother. She was so incredibly nervous but wonderful on camera. As always she was in her son’s jersey. That morning while talking to Jonny on the phone, he begged her not to wear his jersey because he was worried the Philly fans would boo and harass her; and possibly worse.
John Schippman (field producer): As a media member, the league lines you up in the bowels of the arena before allowing you on the ice to capture all the celebration…because of this, we had one TV to huddle around to watch the game. Unfortunately, it was on a 7-second delay, so we heard the horn go off before we saw the Flyers score the game-tying goal late in the 3rd period.
Mike Smith (assistant video producer): Working alongside our video producer, Dave Mrotek, it was my job to log games and sound that would be coming in before and after the game. The thing I most remember about game 6 was the tension around the office after Scott Hartnell’s goal late in the 3rd period. The next 40 minutes were some of the most intense moments I can remember, especially during some of Antii Niemi’s saves near the end of regulation.
The overtime period didn’t last long, as Patrick Kane scored just over four minutes into extra time to seal the victory. Bedlam ensued on the ice…but behind the scenes, it got even crazier.
Smith: My most vivid memory of the game was Patrick Kane throwing off his gloves and celebrating as he skated behind the Flyers net, as he was the only one on the ice certain that the game was over. Once it was official, it was all hands on deck in ingest. We had so many different feeds coming in, the NBC national feed, the podium feed for Joel Quenneville and some of the players, and at least two separate feeds from the locker room area and hallway. It was a lot of fun watching those guys, mostly kids at the time, celebrating and having fun, and the interviews got better and better as the champagne continued to flow.
Slavko Bekovic (intern): I remember being in the room where we record all the feeds with Mike and Dave, helping out as an intern at the time. The feeds coming in that we were watching were about 10 seconds behind the monitors in the newsroom. I remember hearing people celebrating but I had no clue what was going on. So I stood up in anticipation not knowing what to expect. I was watching a seemingly “nothing-play” and couldn’t help but be confused. That “nothing play” turned into Kane’s game-winning goal. Kane shook off the gloves and I knew it was legit, but there was no time to celebrate…it was time to really get to work.
Jeff Korbitz (photographer): I was at Navy Pier with the “Golden Jet” Bobby Hull. When Kane scored the mystery game-winner, Bobby and everyone finally realized it was in and Bobby started bawling tears of joy. It meant that much to him so many years after his victory. He cried like a baby and I thought it was beautiful.
Schippman: After the confusion of Kane’s Cup-clinching goal, we all prepared to head to the ice. There was about a 10 minute delay before the league let us get to the players. The best part of the delay was that I got to call my dad. It was an emotional phone call. After I hung up with him, we headed to the ice as the cup was being hoisted by every player and coach on the team.
Sarah Lauch (producer/editor): I watched them win the Cup on a 10 inch monitor in my editing suite back in the newsroom…there was nothing like it. I had to edit a rollout montage pretty quickly and I remember my hands were shaking to get it finished in time. You were so happy, but also had a job to do. That is not easy. I loved the 2013 and 2015 seasons, but nothing beats the drama of 2010.
Cappozzo: After the game, I saw Mrs. Toews on the ice and she gave me a big hug. I asked her if the fans bothered her and she said not once! After the game, I asked Blackhawks PR guy Brandon Faber to bring out the Cup for just 30 seconds so team Comcast could get a group photo. A few minutes later he delivered it, but warned us not to kiss the cup because it was just in the shower room and the boys were doing “god knows what” with it. The official Hawks photog Bill Smith snapped a great pic of all of us...and yes, I was kissing it. And because I’m a fan too, while in the locker room after the team left I snagged a half-lit still smoldering cigar off the floor with a special Hawks wrap on it. I still have it.
When the team finally left Philadelphia to head back to Chicago and celebrate, the night wasn’t over for everyone just yet. The newsroom was madness until the early hours of the morning…
Pat Boyle (pre/postgame host): I was in studio anchoring our extended postgame coverage. When the last champagne bottle was emptied and we had exhausted every last Interview from Philadelphia, we wrapped up the show and as I walked off the set, the news director asked if I would like to cover the Blackhawks arrival at O’Hare?
Fast forward to around 4:30am and we are at the airport, cameras pointed at the Blackhawks charter. The Chicago Fire Department had two engines flanking the runway, shooting water on each side of the plane and the charter made its way through the fountain. The pilot opened his window and started waving a Blackhawks flag. The cabin door opened up and the Stanley Cup was raised at the top of the steps. I will never forget that arrival and interviewing this group of champions, several beverages & cigars into their celebration.
Lauch: I had to wait for the plane to land and because of all the celebrating that they did in Philly, I did not leave work until 6:30am. We were inserting the landing into our morning shows so I had to wait. I remember I was tweeting at writers to see where the hell the plane was. I drove home exhausted in rush hour traffic as the Hawks were starting their Cup Tour. They were at the Pony Inn as I was driving home to sleep. That year people would follow the Cup everywhere and the Cup tracker started on Twitter. It was insanity.