The President's Trophy parade was held today in Columbus, Ohio and a record-setting 710,000 fans took part in the celebrations. Starting at City Hall, the parade's 90.3 mile route took the players through the downtown core several dozens of times before finally arriving at Nationwide Arena where food, roller coasters and live music awaited.

Above: The parade in downtown Columbus. Few knew what it was for.

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The parade would have been an utter success had the Jackets actually won the President's Trophy. Unfortunately for the fans, however, not only did the team not win the trophy, but they were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race earlier in the day when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 3 to 2. Event organizer and team general manager Eric explained the peculiar timing of the parade:

"Back in October, I developed a secret formula to determine where the Jackets would finish in the standings. According to that formula, we finished first overall and secured the President's Trophy after our 80th game, in other words after today's game against the Hawks. So right away in October, I started planning this parade with the help of the fans and the community, and we've been preparing all day every day since then. The team really let us down by not bringing home the trophy. Had we known earlier that they weren't going to win it, we could have canceled the event and saved millions of dollars. Now we got caught by surprise and it's just too late to cancel. So ***** it, on with the parade."

With today's loss, the Columbus Blue Jackets are assured of finishing in the bottom 10 spots in the league. Head coach Brian Sutter puts a positive spin on the season's outcome: "Finishing so low in the standings means that we get to pick early in the summer's entry-draft. Without giving away too much information on who we'll pick, we've had our eye on a young kid who scored 22 goals in 5 games and finished +27 at this year's World U-18's. Hopefully he'll still be available when we get up to the podium."

The Jackets will be heading off to St. Louis tomorrow in preparation for their final road game of the season on Sunday night against the Blues. Then on Monday the team will close out its season by facing the Minnesota Wild at Nationwide.

--BJ Express--