Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen grew up in Newmarket, Ontario, about 30 miles north of Toronto. He even spent close to a decade as an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs. So it was quite a triumphant return for Kitchen on Sunday when he brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown for an eventful day of giving back to the local community.
The morning started with a parade taking Kitchen and the Cup through the streets of nearby Schomberg. The victory procession delivered Kitchen and the Cup to the Trisan Center, home of the minor hockey organization that the longtime NHL assistant first became involved with as a child.
It was at the arena that locals were treated to a barbecue and Kitchen met for three hours with hundreds of locals looking to get some photos with the most iconic trophy in all of sports. Following the marathon meet-and-greet at the Trisan Center, Kitchen took the Cup to Newmarket, where he made time to meet with pediatric patients at the Southlake Regional Health Center.
It was there that roughly 20 young patients and their families got a chance to see the Cup up close and meet the Blackhawks assistant. Kitchen and the Cup were in attendance at the hospital for two hours in David's Room, a central playroom that for a few years has been an important area where patients can just enjoy being kids. Sunday afternoon in David's Room, those kids' time in the rec room was made all the more special by a special appearance from Lord Stanley's Cup.
Following his appearance at the Southlake Regional Health Center, Kitchen was expected to enjoy dinner and a party with friends, family and one very shiny special guest.