The Twin Cities were alive for the two days last week when Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy, a former "Mr. Hockey" in Minnesota, traveled throughout the state to visit during a two-day retreat with the Stanley Cup.
Leddy, according to Dane Mizutani of the Minnesota Daily, began his day with a small reception at his home in Eden Prairie before beginning his tour throughout the Twin Cities.
"We just took some photos and relaxed with it," Leddy told the newspaper. "It was awesome being able to share it with them because I wouldn't be here without their support."
After posing for pictures with the cherished trophy, he entered a limo with Keeper of the Cup, Howie Borrow, and his crew to begin their journey. Their first stop was the corporate offices of Shock Doctor, a sports equipment company and sponsor of Leddy, before heading to Maynard's Restaurant in Excelsior.
He'd stop at a few other restaurants in downtown Minneapolis before calling it a day. The second day of the Cup tour saw Leddy making stops at Eden Prairie Community Center and the University's Amplatz Children's Hospital.
As a senior at Eden Prairie High School, Leddy established career highs on the varsity level with 11 goals and 44 points. He'd garner the prestigious "Mr. Hockey" Award as the top scholastic player in Minnesota. He played an integral role in the school's first state championship.
Leddy acknowledged that his visit to the children's hospital was his favorite stop.
"It was really emotional for me," he said. "I was so happy to be able to share that with those kids. It was a lot of fun."
He capped off Day 2 with a visit to his old stomping grounds at Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota. Leddy, selected in the 2009 NHL Draft in the first round (No. 16) by the Wild and traded to the Blackhawks in February 2010, spent the 2009-10 season with the Golden Gophers before turning professional.
Upon arriving at Mariucci, to the tune of the Blackhawks' anthem, "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis, Leddy posed for pictures before meeting fans in the lobby of the arena. He'd remain there for almost an hour with the fans and even got an opportunity to see old friend Kyle Rau. Rau, who also played at Eden Prairie High School, was selected in the third round (No. 91) of the 2011 draft by the Florida Panthers. He was named "Mr. Hockey" in 2011.
"He could have taken [the Cup] anywhere, but he's not forgetting where he came from," Rau said.
Leddy said spending two days with the Cup was certainly memorable.
"It went by fast, but I'm glad I got to have my day with it," he said. "It definitely gives me some motivation to do it again."
Leddy had six goals and 18 points in 48 regular-season games with the Blackhawks and added two assists in 23 playoff matches.