Skip to content

For a handful of veterans, this Stanley Cup was a long time coming

Jun 25, 2013, 12:46 AM EDT

Some players will go their whole careers without winning a Stanley Cup. For a handful of Chicago Blackhawks, their ship finally came in.

Veterans like Michal Handzus and Michal Rozsival have been playing since the late 1990s without a whiff of the championship. Coming away victorious in Game 6 provided them with a moment they’ll never forget.

“This is the happiest moment of my hockey career,” Rozsival said. “Coming over from the Czech Republic and playing for 15 years here in the NHL and having some ups and downs in my career. To be able to be here right now is an amazing feeling.”

Handzus played for Chicago back in 2006-2007 before things turned around in the Windy City. His return trip turned out to be magical.

“(Laughs) It was a long time ago. It was a different organization for sure,” he said. “Obviously they’ve been great the last five, six years and it shows a great city, a great organization top to bottom.”

For backup goalie Ray Emery, he’s had shots at the Cup with Ottawa in 2007 and Philadelphia in 2010. Now, as part of a Jennings Trophy tandem in Chicago, he’s happy to finally come away with a title in his ninth season.

“I lost in Ottawa, I lost in Philly, and then the third time around I got to enjoy the run too because I was on the outside and supportive. It was a great thing to watch,” he said.

“Every year is its own challenge and this year was a great, great year and a great result at the end.”

If you wonder what it’s like to play for so long and just wind up in the right place at the right time, Handzus was able to sum it up best.

“Sometimes you wonder (if you’ll win it), but you gotta believe,” he said. “Obviously you gotta be lucky and you gotta be in the right spot and I did. I’m thankful to God that I was here.”

 

Latest Posts
  1. Agent: Bryzgalov ‘loved’ Minnesota, really wants to return

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Minnesota Wild reacts to play during a break in the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The Minnesota Wild won 3-2. Getty Images

    “He has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities.”

  2. Bertuzzi lawyer: Settlement reached, Moore’s brother ‘does not know what he is talking about’

    Aug 21, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT

    Bertuzzi Moore

    “Nor is he very smart to have made untrue defamatory statements such as these.”

  3. Sounds like San Jose handled stripping Thornton’s captaincy really well

    Aug 21, 2014, 12:32 PM EDT

    Joe Thornton Getty Images

    “I talked with Todd today, and he never mentioned anything about captains or assistant captains.”

  4. Under Pressure: Mike Johnston

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

    Mike Johnston, Jim Rutherford, Rick Tocchet AP

    All the first-time NHL head coach has to do is get Pittsburgh to the promised land. No biggie.

  5. Looking to make the leap: Simon Despres

    Aug 21, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Simon Despres Getty Images

    The 23-year-old defenseman may get a real shot this season.

  6. Tanguay helped sell Iginla on Colorado

    Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Alex Tanguay Getty Images

    They were teammates in Calgary for two seasons.

  7. It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT

    Aug 21, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby Getty Images

    The pressure is on Sid and Geno now after a summer of change.

  8. Sens GM says they’re ‘definitely going to try to keep’ Bobby Ryan

    Aug 20, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Craig Anderson, Kyle Turris, Bobby Ryan, Patrick Wiercioch AP

    He can be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

  9. ‘Canes GM Francis says Semin will be ready for training camp

    Aug 20, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    Ron Francis Getty Images

    Recovery from offseason wrist surgery put things in doubt.

  10. Poll: Who will replace Hartnell on Philly’s first line?

    Aug 20, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Brayden Schenn Getty Images

    Giroux and Voracek will need someone new to run with them.

  11. Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’

    Aug 20, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

    Joe Thornton Getty Images

    Patrick Marleau can coach him through it.

  12. Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format

    Aug 20, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Bill Daly lottery Getty Images

    It’s not as good to be the worst anymore.

  13. Under Pressure: Steve Mason

    Aug 20, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT

    stevemasongetty Getty Images

    How will he handle the weight of expectation?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches