Brent Sopel(notes) is now an Atlanta Thrashers defenseman, but he'll always be a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. So Sopel fulfilled his obligation to bring the Chalice to Chicago's Pride Parade on Sunday, and Outworld caught up with him to ask about the experience and if he'll be a Stanley Cup bottom ... er, on the bottom of the Stanley Cup. Watch:
If we had a Hot Tub Time Machine, we'd travel back to opening night in Oct. 2009, show Sopel this video and count the seconds until his brain exploded ...
You'll notice the veteran D-man was wearing the shamrock with "BB" inside in honor of the late Brendan Burke, and spoke with Outsports about why he decided to appear at the parade with the Chicago Gay Hockey Association in Brendan's honor:
Sopel wore a green shamrock with the initials BB inscribed on it on his red Blackhawks uniform in the parade. Members of the CGHA also had BB printed on special white parade t-shirts and red jerseys.
"I wasn't here to advocate (anything), but if coming here helps break down walls in the meantime, so be it. I was here for Brendan," said Sopel, who rode on the float with his wife. "I hope he is smiling (from heaven)."
Sopel met the late Burke several times. "He was a very unique individual," Sopel said. "For him to come out, and then die a few months later ...when you're a parent and you have to bury a kid, it's just heartbreaking."
Outsports also asked Sopel if he envisioned a day when there will be an openly gay male athlete in one of the four major sports.
"I don't know. I'm sure someday there will be, but when that time is, I'm not sure," Sopel said. He added that he would support a teammate who came out of the closet while playing.
More from AP columnist Jim Litke, including news from the Hockey Hall of Fame that the NHL signed off on the Cup's appearance at the Pride Parade. Good for them.