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New Maple Leaf Bolland takes Cup home to Toronto

by Tal Pinchevsky

Less than a week after scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Final, forward Dave Bolland started a new chapter in his career when he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for three draft picks.

The move surprised many, but it made Bolland's day with the Stanley Cup on Thursday extra special -- one of the newest members of the Maple Leafs got to bring the iconic trophy to Toronto.

The day proved to be a whirlwind for the center, who also brought the Cup to Toronto when he won it with Chicago in 2010. The highlight was a parade through the streets of the Toronto neighborhood of Mimico, where Bolland grew up. Through a crowd conspicuously made up of Maple Leafs fans, Bolland, in a blue t-shirt and riding atop a fire truck, carried the trophy through town.

"Having some fun today, trying to enjoy it," Bolland said, according to the Toronto Star. "It’s great to bring it back and have fun with the crowd. Whenever we bring the Cup, it’s always a good time. It’s a bunch of hardworking people who like to have fun."

Police estimate 3,000 people attended the parade, and Toronto mayor Rob Ford made an appearance. But the day didn't start there.

It began Thursday morning about 120 miles west in London, Ontario, where Bolland won the Memorial Cup in 2005 on a London Knights team that included future NHL players Corey Perry, Dan Girardi, Brandon Prust and Dan Fritsche. The morning included stops at the London Children's Hospital, the Empower Conditiong gym, and the Highlands Country Club golf course.

It was the second year in a row London enjoyed a big day with the Cup; Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty each brought the trophy to town after the Los Angeles Kings were crowned champions in 2012.

By 11:30 a.m., Bolland was on a plane to Toronto. The parade started around 2 p.m. and included cheerleaders from the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and the National Lacrosse League's Toronto Rock, as well as a band of bagpipers.

From there, Bolland made a number of appearances around town. They included his second annual public family skate at the MasterCard Centre arena and a meet-and-greet at the David Bolland Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Centre. The 4,500-square-foot facility is located near the MasterCard Centre and was founded by Bolland to provide chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage treatment, as well as training for area athletes.

His long day with the Cup was scheduled to close with a private party. Bolland's next big day in Toronto will be the first day of training camp with his hometown team.

"For sure, that's what we want," Bolland said of the Cup. "When we go into camp, that's what we go for. That's what we’re working towards. The Stanley Cup. We’re striving for that."

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