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Posted On Friday, 03.11.2011 / 6:37 PM

NHL.com - Blackhawks at the White House

President talks 'bling' with biggest crowd

After his remarks, President Obama got a first-hand look at Chicago's newest championship ring (they don't easily). When offered to put one on, he showed it to a cheering crowd, which veteran White House press corps members said was the largest NHL-related crowd ever gathered for a White House Stanley Cup celebration.

"Oh, absolutely. I've got to try the ring and everything," said Obama. "That's what you call some bling, right there."

Captain Jonathan Toews stepped forward to present the President with a silver replica of the Stanley Cup complete with engravings. 

"Look at this, a mini Stanley. Now, can I say that when I first saw this I thought it so much bigger on TV. But then it turned out it was just a replica. But what a wonderful, wonderful gift this. Thank you so much, team. We are proud of you."
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Posted On Friday, 03.11.2011 / 3:47 PM

By Bob Condor -  NHL.com Editor-in-Chief /NHL.com - Blackhawks at the White House

President excited to welcome hometown Blackhawks

The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks walked up onto risers on the South Lawn at 2:50 p.m., closely followed by President Barack Obama.

The President fired off a number of quips, like so many Patrick Kane wrist shots:

"This one is a little sweeter. ... It's the first time during my presidency I get to welcome a world champion from my hometown, Chicago."

"We are proud to have members of Congress (from Illinois) here today. You guys had nothing to do with it ... but I know you are big fans."

"I want to congratulate all of the fans. We have a proud tradtion in Chicago of believing that no matter how long it takes, how much we have to endure, it's only a matter of time before our team finally wins it all. (Laughter.) The waiting builds character. We have a lot of character. (More laughter.)

"Now, I have to say, even by Chicago standards, 49 years, that's a pretty long time. To put that in perspective, the last time the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, a movie cost 69 cents. JFK had just moved into the White House. I was still in diapers. And when the legendary Glenn Hall played goalie for the Hawks, he did it with a wooden stick and no mask."

"What the Hawks visited Wrigle Field during the Crosstown Classic, they did something even tougher than winning the Cup–they got 40,000 White Sox and Cubs fans to stand up and cheer at the same time. (Lots of laughs.). That's never happened before."

"It's getting close to the playoffs so I would like to wish the team best of luck. I don't want to jinx anything, but with the Blackhawks having won eight of the last 10, it's about time for Patrick Kane to start growing the playoff mullet. I thought that looked pretty sharp. Because I want to see you back here next year."

The President spoke to an appreciative crowd heavy on player's families and school kids here for the First Lady's "Let's Move" event that directly follows.
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Posted On Friday, 03.11.2011 / 2:21 PM

By Bob Condor -  NHL.com Editor-in-Chief /NHL.com - Blackhawks at the White House

Private time with the President

The Blackhawks players, coaches and front office staffers and their families enjoyed a private tour of the White House during the one o'clock hour. The team then took a private meeting with President Obama at 2. Heady stuff for all of the team, but especially American-born players Patrick Kane and 19-year-old Nick Leddy.

The President's remarks will be coming up soon outside on the South Lawn, and the White House buzz is this championship ceremony is particularly special with any number of Chicagoans working for the Administration.
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Posted On Friday, 03.11.2011 / 1:36 PM

By Bob Condor -  NHL.com Editor-in-Chief /NHL.com - Blackhawks at the White House

Fortunate sons

As NHL executives awaited the Chicago Blackhawks to begin a private tour of the White House early Friday afternoon, the Fago and Waivada families noticed that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was standing near 15th and E streets outside the White House. They ware here for a youth hockey tournament for their Mite-age sons. Tyler Fogu and Brendan Waivada, both Devils fans,  were extra fortunate because they also got photos with former Devils goalie Kevin Weekes.
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Posted On Friday, 03.11.2011 / 7:46 AM

By Bob Condor -  NHL.com Editor-in-Chief /NHL.com - Blackhawks at the White House

Big day for Blackhawks: Meeting the President

President Barack Obama will honor the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks during a ceremony at The White House on Friday afternoon.

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.

All of the players were deeply engaged with the recovering soldiers, but close observation showed even more extensive efforts by Patrick Kane, John Scott, Corey Crawford and coach Joel Quenneville.

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."

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