The Colorado Avalanche are celebrating their Stanley Cup championship with a parade Thursday in downtown Denver.
The parade never fails to entertain, and this year looks like it will be no different. Here are the highlights so far:
Kadri’s troll job
Nazem Kadri continues live up to his reputation as one of the NHL’s elite agitators. Kadri and his wife Ashley were sporting matching shirts that read “Too Many Men” with an image of the celebration that followed the forward’s controversial Game 4 OT winner in his return from injury. It was a moment of redemption for Kadri, who was previously painted as a liability in the playoffs due to repeated suspensions and also received racists attacks and death threats in Round 2 after injuring St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.
Rantanen steals the show
Mikko Rantanen got the crowd fired up — and the beers flowing — by standing on the truck and chugging a beer through his jersey. If you recall, Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie first brought this tradition to the NHL mainstream back in 2018 after he delivered his speech.
That was only the beginning. The Finnish winger followed it up with an even grimier display by doing a “shoey,” an Australian tradition in which you drink beer from your shoe.
This was all setting the stage for an electric performance at the podium, with Rantanen moonwalking, doing the robot and dabbing before taking the mic.
Rantanen had a little competition in the showmanship department, as Samuel Girard — broken sternum and all — entered the stage by doing a cartwheel.
Among the other highlights from the stage, Jared Bednar had the most heartfelt moment after getting choked up while giving his speech, thanking the Avalanche for giving him his first NHL coaching gig and sticking with him after a few disappointing playoff results.
Erik Johnson led the crowd in a singalong of “All the Small Things,” the Blink-182 song that has become an Avalanche tradition over the past few years, with fans belting out the lyrics in unison at Ball Arena.
Byram mistaken as fan
Bowen Byram found himself in a sticky situation after he left the truck float and headed to the street to take pictures with fans, sign autographs and share some drinks.
As he attempted to get back close to the trucks to reunite with his teammates, the 21-year-old was halted by a police officer who mistook him for a regular fan that was trying to get too close to the players.
The policeman pushed Byram back into the crowd, trying to kick him out of his own Stanley Cup parade. Despite his inebriated state, Byram, with the help of the fans, finally managed to explain to the officer that he was part of the team and was allowed back on the truck.
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