What's buzzing:

Eh Game

Dave Bolland brings Stanley Cup to blue-collar Mimico

Neil Acharya
Eh Game

Mimico, the Toronto suburb that Dave Bolland hails from, has always been close to his heart. So much so that minutes after scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks, the gritty 27-year-old forward, still registering the emotions of a late comeback victory - gave a post-game interview shout-out to the Blue Goose Tavern, the local watering hole where friends and family had gathered to cheer on the hometown kid.

On Thursday, for the second time in his career, the Leafs' new winger brought hockey's ultimate prize to the working class community in southwestern Toronto where it all began. "It's a blue-collar neighbourhood, it's people that work for their money, they work hard for what they do and they like to have fun too," Bolland said. "They like to experience the hockey. They may not be around for Stanley Cups or anything, but when they're at the Blue Goose cheering me on, it's always fun."

Thousands of boisterous fans of all ages, many of whom were clad in Blackhawks and Maple Leafs jerseys, lined the short parade route which started in front of the Mimico Arena where Bolland first began to play organized hockey and culminated under the bandshell in Mimico Square on Toronto's lakefront.

The large turnout was no doubt fueled in part by the fact that Bolland is now playing in his own backyard after being dealt to the Leafs by the Hawks on draft day for three picks, but there may also be more to the story.

"It's a big deal for a lot of people because they would never get to see this," said Mimico resident Mark Branch as he watched the parade from his front porch. "Like, if you have to go the Hockey Hall of Fame - it'll cost you $60 or something like that.

"This way you see somebody who has actually got it in his hand, won the Cup, doing something for his community...It is a blue-collar neighbourhood and it is one of their own who has come to say, 'Hey, I'm like you and this is where I grew up and thanks.'"

View photo

.

Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland celebrates with the Stanley Cup during a rally at Hutchinson Field in Grant …

Just as the kids clamoured around him on this day, Bolland did the same as an 11-year-old when fellow Mimico native Brendan Shanahan brought the Stanley Cup home after the Detroit Red Wings championship run in 1997. The experience left him knowing full well how young hockey players and a community as a whole can be galvanized when a player gets a day in his home town with the iconic piece of hardware.

"When you see him (Shanahan) doing it - as a role model, you're looking up to him and you see what's going on and everything, you sort of say in the back of your mind, this could happen for me too," said Bolland, reflecting back 16 years before returning to the present. "It's always nice to bring it back and I think all the people appreciate it, seeing it and experiencing the Cup fever."

View Comments (37)
  • Vettel looking back to his best with Ferrari

    Vettel looking back to his best with Ferrari

    By John O'Brien SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Sebastian Vettel showed how much he is enjoying life at Ferrari by whooping with delight at securing second on the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday and punching the air at the … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • Move over 'Phantom,' Coldplay getting air time at worlds

    Move over 'Phantom,' Coldplay getting air time at worlds

    It wouldn't be figure skating without Andrew Lloyd Webber. ''Phantom of the Opera'' is so popular a choice for skaters that the composer's music was on repeat at the world figure skating championships on Saturday as three men in a row chose it for … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • NHL Playoff Death Watch: Which teams can clinch tonight?

    NHL Playoff Death Watch: Which teams can clinch tonight?

    Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 12 minutes ago
  • Depleted England lose Welbeck for Italy game

    Depleted England lose Welbeck for Italy game

    England manager Roy Hodgson will be without in-form striker Danny Welbeck and three other players for Tuesday's friendly against Italy in Turin due to injuries. Arsenal striker Welbeck limped off during England's 4-0 win over Lithuania at Wembley … More »

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago
  • Barcelona full back Alba sidelined for 10 days

    Barcelona full back Alba sidelined for 10 days

    Barcelona full back Jordi Alba will be out of action for around 10 days after sustaining a leg muscle injury in Spain's 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Ukraine on Friday. "Tests conducted this morning on the first-team player Jordi Alba by FC … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago