The Stanley Cup was in Richmond Hill this morning as St. Louis blues goaltender Jordan Binnington returned home with the iconic trophy.

Binnington, who backstopped the Blues to their first ever NHL championship last month, received a hero’s welcome as he made his way into Richmond Green Park in the back of a black convertible while clutching the cup on Friday morning.

He was then given the key to the city by Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow during a rally held inside the park. The rally was attended by hundreds of people.

“I heard through the wire that the Town of Richmond Hill was backing me along the way and that means a lot to me,” Binnington told the crowd. “You know bringing people together and having a positive influence on a community like this is very special to me.”

Worst to first

The Blues were in last place in the NHL when Binnington got called up from the minors in December but he promptly led them to an improbable turnaround that concluded with a victory in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins.

In doing so Binnington became the first rookie goaltender to win 16 playoff games, as Barrow reminded the crowd.

“He didn’t come out of nowhere, he was quite successful coming all the way up and I always knew he would get a shot; I just didn’t know he would win a Stanley Cup in his first year,” Binnington’s mother, Lindsay McGeachie, told CP24 on Friday. “He always believed in himself, we always believed in him and he just persevered. It is all about perseverance.”

“We used to have talks about it all the time when he was down in the minors in San Antonio, like what will this year bring him but Jordan always believed in himself,” his girlfriend Cristine Prosperi added. “It’s unbelievable.”

After Friday’s parade, Binnington took the cup to the Vaughan Sports Complex, where he played minor hockey with the Vaughan Kings growing up. He also stopped off at the welcome to Richmond Hill sign which now bears the words “Home of Stanley Cup champion Jordan Binnington," and visited his grandfather in Thornhill before heading to David Duncan House in North York for a celebration with family and friends.

“This is incredible, something I will always remember,” Binnington said earlier in the day as he addressed the crowd at Richmond Green Park.