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Blackhawks' victory parade, rally to be held Thursday @NHLdotcom

The Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory parade will be Thursday at 11 a.m. ET followed by a rally at Soldier Field.

"Going to Wrigley [Field] and going around to different places [with the Cup on Tuesday] was pretty amazing," forward Brad Richards told the Chicago Sun Times on Wednesday. "I can't wait to see the parade."

Double-decker buses will carry players and front-office personnel along a new, longer route which the Sun Times said will begin at Washington and Racine and head east along Washington to DesPlaines, then south on DesPlaines to Monroe, then east on Monroe to Michigan Avenue.

The newspaper said the route was extended to accommodate more fans, who may not be able to get into the rally. More than 60,000 free tickets for the rally were made available Wednesday, city spokeswoman Eve Rodriguez told the Chicago Tribune.

"It's pretty cool," captain Jonathan Toews told the newspaper. "It's great to see how the game of hockey and the Blackhawks can bring an entire city together and create such a great sense of energy.

"... The coolest thing is to really have the city on your back for a couple months, everybody's part of the ride, and you finally deliver on your promise and everybody's really excited, celebrating and joyous."

The newspaper said the National Weather Service forecast calls for temperatures in the 80s by noon.

The Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday to win the best-of-7 series 4-2. It's the third time in six seasons the Blackhawks have won the Cup, but the first time since 1938 they did it at home.

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