Obama celebrates hometown hockey champs at White House

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

President Barack Obama honored Stanley Cup winners the Chicago Blackhawks at the White House Monday, celebrating the only team from his hometown to win a big league world championship during his presidency.

That’s no small feat, particularly since it was the second time Obama and the ’Hawks have celebrated a National Hockey League championship together.

“Three years ago, the ’Hawks won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years,” Obama said. “And keep in mind, the Cubs have been waiting for 105 – so 49 might have not seemed so bad.”

Obama was impressed by the leadership of team captain Jonathan Toews, 25, who took his team to victory for the second time.

“Now, I don’t remember everything I was doing when I was 25, but I wasn’t doing that,” Obama said.

Defenseman Duncan Keith had an exciting playoff season in more ways than one, the president pointed out. He flew home between games three and four for the birth of his son Colton – who, the president guessed, later became “the youngest person ever to be hoisted by the cup.”

Obama also recognized playoff MVP Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland, whose combined two goals in the last 17 seconds cinched the cup for Chicago, and Andrew Shaw, who auctioned off his game-six-induced stitches and raised $20,000 towards cancer research.

Before the White House, the team went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where they visited with veterans and wounded warriors to thank them for their service.

“I love all my sports teams, but obviously our best team, our most important team are those folks who every day serve us in uniform and keep us free,” said Obama.

Among the attendees at the ceremony were Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn , Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and House Hockey Caucus co-chair Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz thanked the president with a team jersey, and said that his players are not only gifted athletes but would “go a long way in breaking gridlock if you allow them into Congress.”

Obama joked he should perhaps have given a hockey stick a try during the government shutdown.

He also did not miss the opportunity to put pressure on the rest of his favorite teams.

“To the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, White Sox – I am term-limited, so you guys have got to get moving,” said Obama. “I need to see you here soon. Championships belong in Chicago.”

Email: khelblig@mcclatchydc.com

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
FILE - This  Oct. 8, 2012 file photo shows the wrecked Subaru Impreza in which four people died as it is loaded onto a flatbed truck on the Southern State Parkway in West Hempstead, N.Y., after and early-morning accident. At the wheel was a New York teenager, Joseph Beer, who had smoked about $20 worth of marijuana, before getting into the car with four friends, and driving over 100 mph before crashing into trees with such force that it split the car in half. As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a spike in traffic deaths. Researchers who have studied the issue, though, are divided over whether toking before taking the wheel in fact leads to more accidents.

    Marijuana's hazy contribution to highway deaths

    New York teenager Joseph Beer smoked marijuana, climbed into a Subaru Impreza with four friends and drove more than 100 mph before losing control. The car crashed into trees with such force that the vehicle split in half, killing his friends.

  • Snyder ad says he's built 'strong foundation'

    Gov. Rick Snyder is airing his first TV ad for the final two months of the governor's race, emphasizing his accountant credentials as key to building a "strong foundation" for Michigan's recovery.

  •  
In this photo taken July 22, 2014, a construction worker is seen on a 36 floor high rise condominium in Miami. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in July on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.

    US construction spending up 1.8 percent in July

    U.S. construction spending staged a strong rebound in July, rising by the largest amount in more than two years. All major categories of construction showed gains in an encouraging sign that spending on building projects will help boost the economy in the second half of this year.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category