“It is always fun to have the Stanley Cup here,” President Barack Obama explained at the White House on Thursday. “It truly is the best trophy in sports.”
Obama gave his hometown Chicago Blackhawks the spotlight at the White House again. The champs in return gave him a painting, a miniature Stanley Cup referencing a past observation that the genuine article looks smaller in person, a red Blackhawks jersey, and a parking pass for the United Center so that the president can finally watch his hometown hockey team in person without worrying about extortionate garage rates. The president quipped of the pass: “This is the best gift I’ve ever gotten at the White House.”
Obama singled out defenseman Kimmo Timonen for lifting the Stanley Cup in final NHL game after a career overflowing with tough losses and backup goalie Scott Darling for quietly setting up a struggling man in a hotel for a month last season.
The Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games to win the Stanley Cup for the 2014-2015 season. The victory gave the franchise its third cup in six years and its first championship won on home ice since 1938. Obama urged the team to win another championship and come back to the White House a fourth time before the end of his presidency.
Obama noted at the ceremony that the team went a half century without winning the Stanley Cup prior to his presidency but has captured three championships since his inauguration. He added, “I think it’s pretty clear the kind of luck I’ve brought to this team.”