"I am happy to welcome the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins to the White House – I know you are all wicked happy to be here," said Obama to the large gathering in the East Room.
"Last year this team endured a long season, and even longer playoffs," continued Obama. "They are the first team in NHL history to win three full seven game series.
"They had some pretty long playoff beards to show for it and I appreciate them looking a little bit more clean cut as they come here today," he said.
Minus center Marc Savard
(still recovering from the effects of a concussion), goaltender Tim Thomas
(who opted out of the gathering) and winger Michael Ryder (who now plays for the Dallas Stars) the entire 2010-11 Bruins roster was present to meet and be introduced by the President.
"These Bruins finally brought the Stanley Cup back to Causeway Street for the first time since 1972 when Bobby Orr was leading the team – and obviously that was before most of the guys on this stage were born," said Obama. "Now Bobby Orr is obviously a hockey legend, he took the ice without a helmet – and kids don’t try that at home – he attacked every puck and he lived by the motto, ‘Forget about style, worry about results.’
"Well that’s what this year’s offense delivered – big time results. Brad Marchand
, who went into the season playing on the fourth line, but the ‘Little Ball of Hate’ shrugged off the rookie jitters."
There, the President paused, and asked Marchand, "What’s up with that nickname, man?"
He then continued on to marvel that Brad scored five goals in the last five games of the final series.
"After two series winning goals to lead the Bruins to the championships, Nathan Horton
went down hard in Game 3 of the Finals but that didn’t stop him from doing everything he could to help this team win," added Obama. "He even brought some Boston water all the way to Vancouver and poured it in the ice before decisive Game 7."
Obama, a Chicagoan, akso talked about the success of the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins, but focused on the B's Cup run.
"Beantown delivered," he said. "And there’s no better image of the Bruins dominance, than the tallest player in NHL history – I’ll let you guess which one that is – Zdeno Chara
hoisting the cup above the ice in Vancouver which is I’m sure the highest that the Stanley Cup has ever been," he said.
The President also highlighted the Bruins for their charitable efforts.
"I know that loyalty is important in Boston, which is why the Boston Bruins foundation has raised and donated more than seven million dollars in charitable contributions for organizations all across New England," said Obama. "I want to thank them for bringing their spirit of service to Washington.
"These Bruins understand that winning the Stanley Cup is more than just men on ice.
"It’s about the people that stand behind them and that’s why since the last buzzer sounded in June, the Bruins have been taking the Cup all over the world to share it with their fans," he said.
And it sounds as if maybe the B's have one more fan residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Under the leadership of owner Jeremy Jacobs and Coach Julien, this team has shown a commitment to the game and to each other," he said. "That is a testament to them, but also a testament to fans that cheer for the Black & Gold all around the world.
"They know that being a champion doesn’t end when you hang up your skates at the end of practice or at the end of the season. The new banner that hangs from the rafters of the Garden commemorates the place that they have earned in history. I know that this season is heating up again, so I don’t want to be too long, I just want to make sure I wish everybody good luck on the ice tomorrow night and during the rest of the season as well.
"Congratulations gentlemen, great job," he said.