It wasn't until he had the Stanley Cup in his hands that Jonathan Toews allowed himself to accept what had just happened on the ice that June 9, 2010 night in Philadelphia.
While teammates were celebrating Patrick Kane's overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final against the Flyers that gave the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory and their first championship in 49 years, Toews played it safe until the moment NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman handed him the most famous trophy in sports.
"I wasn't going to believe it was true and I wasn't going to release that emotion until I really knew Kaner scored the goal and it was over," Toews said. "Then I was hoisting the Cup and it was like, 'OK, yeah, the puck actually did go in. The game is over, there's no going back and this is it - enjoy the moment.' It was special."
It was also a decade ago, another thing Toews found hard to believe.
"It's 10 years, eh?" he said. "Scary."
As scary as it might be, it is time for the Blackhawks to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the 2009-10 Cup season and they will do so throughout the '19-20 campaign, starting with the 12th annual Blackhawks Convention this weekend at the Hilton Chicago.
It promises to be a season of fond memories, including of the raucous celebration in the weeks following the Cup victory and the parade that drew an estimated two million people.
"There were so many great moments from that year," Kane said. "Whether it was (Marian) Hossa scoring in overtime in Game 5 against Nashville, Duncan (Keith) losing his teeth (against the Sharks in the Western Conference finals) or (Dustin) Byfuglien being what he was against Vancouver.
"Obviously, the series against Philly was amazing," Kane continued. "Scoring that goal was amazing for me. And bringing the team its first championship in 49 years is something I think the whole city was excited about. The parade was amazing. When you have two million people there it's like everything was just awesome."
While the Blackhawks added championships in 2013 and '15, the one in '10 will stand out because it was the first.
"It's special probably because it was so unexpected," said Toews, who was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs. "You're so naïve and you just don't know what's going to happen. I remember that summer being so crazy. You didn't want to miss anything, you wanted to be part of every little celebration, every night out with the Cup. You're trying to do it all, whereas the second and third - not that you're jaded and you don't appreciate it - but it was like, 'Maybe I'll take this night off and get some rest of something.' "
Like Toews, Kane also has difficulty believing 10 years have passed since he skated around Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen and fired a shot past goaltender Michael Leighton to give the Blackhawks the Cup.
"It feels like maybe three or four years," Kane said. "It's crazy how time flies."
Despite the elapsed years, Kane vividly remembers scoring the historic goal that wasn't confirmed until officials lifted the net off the ice and found the puck under a pad surrounding the inside of the net.
"I thought I was having a pretty good game and I was feeling the puck and made a nice move and just threw it on net, to be honest with you," Kane said. "I thought it might be a good play for a rebound or something and it ended up sneaking through. I saw it hit the back pad and there was really no reaction from anyone. I tried to sell the celebration and make it known that the puck was in the net.
"It was cool the way everything went down," Kane continued. "Whether it was the goal and knowing no one knew it was in except for maybe me and (Patrick) Sharp and having the one celebration with (Antti) Niemi and then when they confirmed the goal and having the other celebration at center ice."
Video: 2010 Championship Anniversary
Included in the celebration was Toews, who was holding back his emotions since he, along with those in attendance as well as most TV viewers, didn't see the puck go in the net.
"I basically chased the whole group - I was one of the last guys off the bench," Toews said. "I didn't want to go right away in case it was being called back and Kaner somehow had made a mistake. I just remember looking all the way down the ice and seeing the refs pull the net off the moorings and the puck sitting there. But I was still not sure. But when we got the Stanley Cup I knew that was it."
Later, it dawned on Toews what the Blackhawks had accomplished.
"When we were on the run you're kind of in your own little world and you can't expose yourself to how crazy everything is as you're still in that game mode," Toews said. "So I never really realized how big of a deal it was until we got home and saw the fans filling the streets and then the parade. All of that, I never expected that in a million years."
Toews said he will always share a bond with members of the 2009-10 season, many of whom are attending this weekend's convention.
"You go through a lot to get there," Toews said of winning the Cup. "Not that hockey players are full of drama or anything like that, but there are a lot of ups and downs. It's an emotional rollercoaster for each guy to do what he can and be the right kind of teammate and player to fit and make sure that he's doing what it takes for the team to win. It's not easy. You have to work hard, you have to buy in and believe and when things go right, it's pretty special."