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Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate Stanley Cup win with stadium event, boat parade

Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning holds the Stanley Cup trophy above his head during the 2020 Stanley Cup Champion rally on September 30, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning holds the Stanley Cup trophy above his head during the 2020 Stanley Cup Champion rally on September 30, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrated their Stanley Cup title with a boat parade and ceremonies Wednesday at Raymond James Stadium.

The boat parade featured forward Alex Killorn on a jet-ski with Steven Stamkos riding on the back as they held up the Stanley Cup and did laps around the boats in the Hillsborough River.

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The parade was followed by a public trophy celebration at the stadium with a capped attendance of 16,000 people.

“We’re excited to share this with Tampa,” Killorn said.

“I know they weren’t here throughout the series and in the bubble, but this is our time to enjoy it with them because [the fans] are a big part of this team.”

READ MORE: Tampa Bay Lightning defeat Dallas Stars 2-0 to win Stanley Cup 

Among the highlights of the celebration was a video package of the Lightning’s playoff run and a congratulatory video message from ESPN broadcaster and Lightning season-ticket holder Dick Vitale.

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The players returned to Tampa on Tuesday after being in the NHL’s “bubble” in Toronto and Edmonton for the past 65 days. They were greeted at the airport by their families and held a private on-ice ceremony for friends and family.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s NHL hub city bubble bursts as players head home after Stanley Cup awarded 

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik said that the circumstances in which the Lightning won the Stanley Cup make it an even more impressive feat than winning in a normal year.

“This was not only a hockey Stanley Cup,” Vinik said. “This was a mental Stanley Cup to get through that period of time.

“Kudos to them and kudos to their families for being so supportive. That’s a long time away from home and I don’t think any of us can appreciate how tough that was.”

Watch below: Some videos about the 2020 NHL playoffs.

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