TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The back-to-back champions had quite a celebration in Tampa Bay on Monday.
The boat parade through the City of Tampa to celebrate the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning team kicked off at 11 a.m. Fans gathered along the Tampa Riverwalk, and in the water, celebrated the 2021 Tampa Bay Lightning team as the Bolts boated along the Hillsborough River to celebrate their second consecutive NHL title.
Players and staff started boarding boats around 10 a.m. on Davis Islands. The boat parade made its way through the Seddon Channel and passed through Downtown Tampa before ending up near Armature Works.
The boat parade was mostly wrapped up by 2 p.m. Lightning players then loaded up on trollies and headed to Julian B. Lane Park for a celebration on land that was unfortunately canceled due to weather.
Here are some highlights from the boat parade:
WFLA’s Josh Benson caught up with head coach Jon Cooper at the start of the parade to talk about going back-to-back as NHL champions.
“Trophies and rings. They never get old,” Cooper said while wearing a GRONK shirt.
Eric Cernak and Alex Killorn also spoke with Josh and gave a huge shoutout to Lightning fans.
“It’s all because of them,” Cernak said. “That was for them.”
Lightning owner Jeff Vinik also gave a huge shoutout to the community, thanking Tampa Bay for their support of the team.
In addition to the real Stanley Cup, Pat Maroon and Ryan McDonagh were on a boat with a replica cup made of beer cans.
Maroon weighed in on how it felt to be the first player in the NHL expansion era to win three Stanley Cup championships in a row.
McDonagh then talked about how awesome it is to be able to experience a boat parade in Tampa Bay.
And it really wouldn’t be a Tampa bay Lightning boat parade if the Stanley Cup didn’t go for a ride on a jet-ski.