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Blackhawks honor late equipment manager at rally

by Staff

The Chicago Blackhawks handed out a championship belt to the player of the game after each victory this season. During the rally at Soldier Field on Thursday celebrating their Stanley Cup championship, the belt was presented to C.J. Reif, the 9-year-old son of their late assistant equipment manager, Clint Reif.

Reif, 34, died unexpectedly on Dec. 21 and is survived by his wife and four children. He had been with the Blackhawks for nine seasons.

"So we don't got the belt with us here right now, but I was fortunate enough to receive it from [Brandon Saad] and we got to give it to the best player, voted on by myself, in Game 6," forward Kris Versteeg said. "So I think Patrick Kane had a pretty good game. Brad Richards. Everybody showed up.

"But this is really about Clint Reif and the Reif family. We hold them really dear to our heart. And this is his son, C.J. And he gets the belt from all of us."

After the announcement, Versteeg lifted C.J. Reif in the air to the cheers of the crowd.

Earlier, Conn Smythe Trophy winner Duncan Keith ended his speech by dedicating the Cup win to Reif.

"This one's for you Reifer," he said.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the third time in six seasons when they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 of the Final on Monday.

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