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Stanley Cup Journal - White House Visit

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Join hockey's most prized trophy as it parties throughout the summer of 2009. As each member of the Pittsburgh Penguins assumes possession of the Stanley Cup for one day, get an insider's view through exclusive stories, videos, and photographs via the Hockey Hall of Fame's Stanley Cup chaperone (aka "White Gloves") - no one gets closer! The Stanley Cup Journal is presented by
Trib Total Media and content is provided by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Through the summer, the Stanley Cup has gone fishing, visited hospitals, held sundaes and raised funds for worthwhile causes. On Thursday, September 10, the Pittsburgh Penguins took the Stanley Cup to visit the most powerful and influential world leader, United States President Barack Obama.

Prior to the White House visit, several of the Penguins, joined by pioneering NHL alumnus Willie O'Ree, conducted a hockey clinic for youngsters at the Fort Dupont Ice Rink in Washington, DC, all part of President Obama's 'United We Serve' campaign to encourage volunteerism. The rink is home to the oldest minority hockey program in the United States, and O'Ree heads the NHL's diversity program. Willie made history on January 18, 1958 when he dressed for the Boston Bruins in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first black player in the NHL.

Shortly after 6:00pm, the Penguins were led to the East Room, where a riser had been situated. Each of the Pittsburgh players, along with owner Mario Lemieux, team president David Morehouse, general manager Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma, were standing there as President Barack Obama entered the Green Room. "It's an indication that in a year's time, a lot can happen," the coach later said, shaking his head. In the past twelve months, Bylsma had gone from coaching in the American Hockey League, to the Penguins and on to Stanley Cup renown!

The President apologized as he entered the Green Room. "First of all, I'm sorry to keep you guys waiting. I have all these things I've got to do as President," he said, as the Penguins chuckled. "This is by far the most fun thing that I'm doing today, so welcome to the White House. We are extraordinarily pleased to have the world champion Pittsburgh Penguins."

President Obama was very casual and friendly in his remarks, teasing the players about their scruffy facial hair sported during the post-season. "All of you look pretty good without your playoff beards," he smiled, then turned to the spectators present and remarked, "They're pretty good looking guys without all that."

To read the rest of this journal please visit the
Hockey Hall Of Fame website.

The Stanley Cup awaits the arrival of the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins and U.S. President Barack Obama. (Bill Wellman/HHOF)
 U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes the 2009 Stanley Cup Champions to the White House.
(Bill Wellman/HHOF)


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