Two days after the sixth match of the final, the Tampa Bay Lightning held the championship parade and finally met with the fans who were worried about their favorite club for the past two months.

The festivities began immediately after the arrival of the team from Edmonton.

At the airport, hockey players and coaches were greeted by their family members, fans and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

For the first time in a long time, the players saw their relatives live, since since the resumption of the season, they had to live in a "bubble" and observe the strictest security measures.

The wives and children began to hug the winners right at the stairs of the plane that brought the team home with the Stanley Cup.

Family reunion day.


- Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) September 30, 2020

After such a warm welcome, the Tampa players went on retro buses with open windows to their home stadium, Amali Arena.

The procession moved through the streets of the city, and most of the fans had a chance to see their idols even before the official parade.

Defender Kevin Shattenkirk took advantage of this break to put his one-year-old son in the Stanley Cup for one of the cutest photos of the season.

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Posted by Deanna Shattenkirk (@deannashattenkirk) Sep 29, 2020 6:32 am PDT

At the arena, the team met with the club's employees and sponsors.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos shared what it was like to be locked up for over two months and still be the best team in the NHL.

“Winning the Stanley Cup under such circumstances is very difficult.

Perhaps the hardest part.

Our family and friends had to sacrifice a lot so that we could fulfill our dream.

You see how we play, but you don't always know what is going on behind the scenes.

The cohesion of this team - thanks to her, we are now celebrating victory in the playoffs.

We are very glad that we can share our joy with you.

Let's have fun!"

- said Stamkos, who played less than three minutes in the playoffs due to injury.

The championship parade was scheduled for the next day.

In a pandemic, it had to be carried out according to a not entirely standard scenario.

The players were going to ride boats on the Hillsborough River and continue the celebration at the Raymond James Stadium, where fans were allowed to come.

True, they were required to maintain a social distance, and therefore only 16 thousand tickets went on sale.

All of them were immediately sold out.

Several ships were chosen to transport the crew.

Fans were not allowed to join the festivities on the water, but many did not respect this ban and followed the hockey players on their boats and jet skis.

Those who did not have their own water transport were left to watch the procession from the shore.

Everything that happened was a bit like Gasparilla, a pirate festival that has been held annually in Tampa Bay for over a century.

During the parade, players passed the Stanley Cup to each other from boat to boat, showing it to fans.

Stamkos even drank champagne from it while standing on board the boat.

Then he loaded the trophy onto Alex Killorn's jet ski, having also given a drink to his teammate, and rode along the river with him.

The striker's scooter became famous throughout Tampa during a hiatus in the season - on it Killorn rode around town to interview teammates and other athletes.

Dock Talk is on the scene !! @ akillorn19 |

@ / un7DsCpgk2

- Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) September 30, 2020

After the water parade, Tampa Bay arrived at the stadium and took to the stage with the trophies won.

Club owner Jeff Winick wanted to give a congratulatory speech, but he failed.

When he mentioned Nikita Kucherov's goal against the New York Islanders, the Russian himself went to the podium and began to drink beer to Vinik.

Leading the crowd, he shouted, “This is the best man in Tampa!

This is the best person in all of America! "

and kissed him on the cheek.

Then Kucherov more than once interrupted the speech of the owner of Tampa Bay, delighting the fans with his joy.

LEGENDAR Y. 🏆 @ 86kucherov |

# / zv8yVgsmkb

- Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) October 1, 2020

Now the Stanley Cup will be at the disposal of the players so that, according to the established tradition, they can spend the whole day with him the way they want.

In recent years, the trophy has definitely come to Russia, since it was won by one of the domestic hockey players.

But this time, this tradition may be broken.

Defender Mikhail Sergachev and goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevsky told Vecherny Urgant that they wanted to deliver the Stanley Cup to their hometowns, but so far this issue has not been resolved.

“I am a pupil of the Ufa school, so I am taking him to Ufa without question.

But now, due to the pandemic, it is not known whether they will give us the cup at all or not, ”Vasilevsky said.

“And I will bring him to Nizhnekamsk.

But the cup is guarded by two people from Canada.

They said that if there is a two-week quarantine in the country, then he will not be taken there.

Now this issue is being resolved.

I hope they will be allowed to bring it, because it is a great happiness for all Russian fans, especially in Nizhnekamsk, ”added Sergachev.