Following the ceremony, First Lady Michelle Obama, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will preside over a street hockey workout and clinic on a rink set up near the South Lawn of the White House. The clinic for local youngsters, which will be conducted by, among others, Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals, is part of a new collaboration between Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! initiative, the NHL and USA Hockey to encourage American children to lead active and healthy lives.
The Blackhawks players, coaching staff and front office executives visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center Thursday afternoon in what team president John McDonough said would be the team’s most important off-day ever and the team was indeed thoroughly inspired by the meeting the service personnel at Walter Reed.
The team’s family members flew into Washington later Thursday, joining the players and coaches who finished a Florida swing this week, earning a point but dropping a shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night.
That result didn’t dissuade Quenneville from making rounds cheerfully Thursday. He bumped into one soldier who admitted to being a Lightning fan. Quenneville said, “Well, they got us. But it was exciting hockey game, an entertaining hockey game.”
Kane told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen last week that he planned to Flip-cam the event. Kane also recalled the phone call he received from President Obama on the day of the Hawks' Stanley Cup parade.
"We were doing our team photo with the Cup in the middle and we had to interrupt it so I could talk to the President for two minutes. I'll always remember that," Kane told NHL.com. "They had to go through a 10-minute security thing with the call and then I finally got on the phone and he talked to me about the goal, winning the Cup, how happy the city of Chicago was. We talked about my hometown (Buffalo) a little bit and then maybe one day playing basketball against each other because I know we both like to play. It was a pretty cool call."
It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.