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Blues celebrate championship with White House visit

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

PHOTO GALLERY: White House Visit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After a championship parade, a Stanley Cup Tour around the world, a ring ceremony, a Hockey Hall of Fame visit and a banner-raising on Opening Night, only one more celebration remained for the Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues, and that was a visit to the White House.

The Blues accepted their invitation from President Donald Trump and made a stop at the nation's capitol in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday afternoon following the completion of their four-game, 10-day road trip to Canada and Long Island, NY.

The tradition of championship professional sports teams visiting the White House can be traced back to 1924 when the World Series Champion Washington Senators were invited.

Every current member of the Blues' championship roster attended Tuesday's visit, as did former teammates Chris Butler and Chris Thorburn.

"I think this team acts as a team in everything they do," said Blues Chairman Tom Stillman. "It (was) the first time the entire team went to the Hockey Hall of Fame to present a ring. They stick together. By and large, we like to keep politics and sports separate, and this is a matter of a traditional honor. We were invited to the White House by the president, and it's something you do. I'm really proud of our group for all coming together and we had a good time with it as well."

Video: White House honors 2019 Stanley Cup Champion Blues

"This is incredible," added goalie Jordan Binnington. "It was a great experience overall, (as was) the experience we had with this team. It was our final Stanley Cup appearance and visit, and I think it's a great way to have a finale."

After taking a tour of the White House and visiting with President Trump in the Oval Office, the Blues were introduced at a press conference to celebrate their championship in the White House Rose Garden.

Stillman presented President Trump with a personalized St. Louis Blues jersey during the press conference, while Alex Pietrangelo and the team captains presented him with a putter featuring the Blues' Stanley Cup champions logo in the Oval Office.

"They had a record streak, and then all of a sudden they ran it and then they win and keep winning," President Trump said. "When you work hard, support each other and believe in yourself and give everything you've got, victory is always within reach. To the St. Louis Blues, congratulations again on your unforgettable season.

"That was really a tremendous Final. Incredible."

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