Ryan Dempster

Paul Konerko, Ryan Dempster reflect on Blackhawks, Stanley Cup coming to Wrigley

Paul Konerko, Ryan Dempster reflect on Blackhawks, Stanley Cup coming to Wrigley

When the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks brought the beloved trophy to Wrigley Field for a Crosstown Classic game between the Cubs and White Sox, parading it up to the pitcher's mound for the game's first pitch and an iconic photo with both rival squads, they helped make Chicago's rich sports history even wealthier.



After a memorable celebration with the Hawks before the game on June 13, 2010, a cut-throat pitcher's duel ensued. Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth before Juan Pierre led off to pinch hit a single.

South Side pitcher Gavin Floyd had a no-hitter of his own going before Alfonso Soriano doubled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Chad Tracy followed it up with a single, yielding the game's only run.

The Cubs held on to beat the Sox 1-0. 

The experience with the Blackhawks left a lasting impression on former White Sox first baseman and six-time MLB all-star Paul Konerko.

"That was probably one of the coolest nights of all my White Sox games. It was a great night, beautiful night, beautiful weather," Konerko, the 2005 ALCS MVP told NBC Sports Chicago's Chuck Garfien on the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast. "When it comes to the Blackhawks and the Bears, obviously the Bears haven't won one in a while, the city of Chicago is a great sports town, maybe the best, but you have this thing with baseball where there is a division [with] how many are on each side, it's not everybody for one team, there's a split there.

"But when it comes to hockey and football, they're all those fans. There's nobody that's going to be disappointed if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup or the Bears win the Super Bowl. That feeling of it's like everybody, the whole Chicagoland area is happy. Whereas, the Cubs win the World Series, our fans probably aren't very happy and if we win the World Series Cubs fans probably don't even care."

Related: Why '05 White Sox were similar to 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks

When it comes to sports, hockey was Konerko's first love. He saw time at center and right wing as a kid before he took up baseball.

"To see the trophy, I'm not sure how many guys knew about the history of the Cup and kind of how big of a deal that is, but it was great," Konerko said. "I don't have the picture, but I know the picture with everybody there, like everybody around it, that was pretty cool."

For former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, a native of Sechelt — a village in British Columbia, Canada — the pregame event was incredibly meaningful.

"They brought the Cup out to Wrigley Field and brought it around and the Cup threw out the first pitch. I have a picture that's in my office of all the Blackhawks, the Cubs and the White Sox, all together on Wrigley for a Sunday night baseball game. It was amazing. I'll never forget these moments," Dempster told NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan on the podcast.

"And I remember Jonathan Toews having the Cup and passing it to me and I know the rules, you don't put the Cup over your head unless you've won. I go, 'What do you want me to do with this?' He says, 'Put it over your head.' I said, 'I can't do that.' He goes, 'If you don't do that 40,000 people are going to boo you right now.' I said, 'Alright, well if the captain's giving me permission...' I got this great picture of me holding the Cup up.

"You want to talk about a really heavy piece of hardware that felt weightless at the time, it was just such a special honor. I still pinch myself and can't believe that that happened."

Dempster had received word the Cup would be in attendance for the game in advance.

"Oh yeah, I was ready," he said. "I couldn't wait and I knew it was coming and I was there early. We've had a lot of really awesome moments at Wrigley Field, ones I've been a part of as a player and away. But as a player in uniform, outside of the playoff games in 07-08, that was as energetic as I've felt the stands.

"The energy in that place, as those guys came in the right field corner and went around the warning track and made their way through, it was magical and then to have both pitchers for the White Sox, I think they took a no-hitter into the 7th and Ted (Lilly) took one into the 9th inning until Juan Pierre led off with a base hit in the 9th inning, I think it was Juan Pierre.

"It was an incredible, incredible moment to be a part of something so special. Here we are trying to do that very same thing and bring a championship and they were able to do that in 2010 and share that with everybody in Wrigleyville, I get goosebumps and the hair standing up on my arms just thinking about that."

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Paul Konerko, Ryan Dempster talk Blackhawks dynasty

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Paul Konerko, Ryan Dempster talk Blackhawks dynasty

It's a cross-sport edition of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast as a pair of former Chicago baseball All-Stars join to talk about their love of hockey and their perspective of the Blackhawks dynasty during their time playing in Chicago. 

First, Ryan Dempster shares stories of his wild night partying with the Stanley Cup in 2010 and his incredible feat on the diamond the next day. Then, Konerko discusses a pair of drought-ending championships in Chicago, comparing his 2005 White Sox title to the 2010 Blackhawks. 

(1:42) - Dempster's stories of hanging out with the Stanley Cup


(9:05) - Dempster's love for the game of hockey and the Blackhawks


(17:31) - Konerko's upbringing playing hockey as a kid


(19:57) - Konerko's memories of the Blackhawks renaissance


(26:25) - The time the Stanley Cup came to Crosstown at Wrigley

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Ryan Dempster pulled a unique prank on Sean Avery at LA Kings game

Ryan Dempster pulled a unique prank on Sean Avery at LA Kings game

Ryan Dempster loves hockey. He also loves pranks. So, when he blends the two it turns into a great story, one which he shared with NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan.

“I love going to hockey games, I really do,” Dempster recently told Kaplan. “That was a thing, as seasons would kind of overlap, if there was a moment where if I could get from a day game over to a Penguins game, I was going, if we were in Pittsburgh. 

“If we’re in a city and it’s hockey season, can I make it to a game, can I go to a morning practice and watch these guys skate?

RELATED: Ryan Dempster partied with Blackhawks after 2010 Cup win, pitched for Cubs next day

“I actually remember one time going to a Blackhawks game against the Kings, and Sean Avery was a friend of mine, and I just decided that day to wear a Captain America costume. So I’m sitting behind their bench and I’m just all over him. I mean I’m just burying him.

“He was dating Rachel Hunter at the time, from that ‘Stacy’s Mom’ music video. I’m saying ‘I don’t care if you are dating Stacy’s Mom, I’ll still whip your tail. Let’s go Avery, you’re a bum!”

Hockey players, known for interacting with fans — whether it’s giving a puck to a kid over the glass, or chirping back at a heckler — wouldn’t miss an opportunity to dish with this rowdy fan.

“He’s given me the ‘C’mon, get down here, let’s go.’ And he didn’t know it was me.

“So after the game I’m still full uni’d up. And I rode it out, they were trying to kick me out of seats and I’m like, ‘I’m Captain America, I sit wherever I want.’ And I make my way down to the locker room, the Kings locker room, and he’s taking his skates off, and you see him lock eye contact with me. And this is a beeline, this is not a conversation, it’s fisticuffs. And I peel the mask off and he’s just like, ‘Oh my god, are you kidding me? That was you?’ 

“So as people know, I’m a bit of a clown, and that was a bit of a clown moment.”

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