Penguins’ visit White House, steer clear of politics

The defending Stanley Cup champions made their visit to the White House today to accept congratulations from President Trump.

The Penguins marched through the NHL this past season en route to a second consecutive Stanley Cup.

On Tuesday, they did something perhaps even more impressive: They got President Donald Trump to stay on script.

In a most civil — and hardly political — 13-plus minute celebration of the Penguins’ most recent Cup, Trump lauded the Penguins’ accomplishments, made a few jokes about them winning a lot and being so good looking, and nothing got overly political.

The closest anything game was Trump saying that he should enlist Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle to help negotiate a NAFTA trade agreement.

Trump gushed over Sidney Crosby.

“Man, can you play?” Trump said, while wondering aloud whether Crosby had passed Burkle’s fellow co-owner and franchise legend Mario Lemieux.

“Has he out-done you yet, Mario?” Trump said.

Afterward, head coach Mike Sullivan was the only member of the Penguins to speak. He said he’d have no problem if one of his players took a knee out of protest during the national anthem but little else.

For them — agree or disagree — this was not political. And they had to have been pleased that it turned out to mostly avoid politics or anything resembling controversy.

“I didn’t feel any pressure,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think we felt any pressure because we’ve stated clearly from the get go that our acceptance of the invitation to the White House was not political and that it was simply a celebration of this group of players winning a championship and to honor the office of the president and the White House. I can’t tell you how proud we are of this group of players and what’ve accomplished over the last two seasons. This has been part of the celebration of this group of players and the commitment that they’ve made to win championships.”

Trump made other comments that drew a laugh. After the first few players were shy, Trump called on Phil Kessel — always good for a laugh.

“C’mon, get over here, Phil,” Trump coerced.

Kessel stepped down, his face beat read.

“These guys don’t want to be politicians,” Trump said. “Don’t be politicians.”

Trump gave the Penguins grief for beating up on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, where Trump would watch, but said that’s what this group does.

“It’s called winning, right, Sidney?” Trump said.

The president finished by predicting that the Penguins would be back here next year.

In his post-ceremony comments, Sullivan said flatly that they presented Trump with “a gift.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ladysmith man arrested in Saanich after towed sawmill draws attention

Police located the man thanks to social media and a keen-eyed witness

Killer whales cause a scene

WHALE OF A TALE Art Carlyle captured these images of killer whales… Continue reading

Ladysmith man shocked out of his seat after $50,000 Keno win

Larry Salmond plans to purchase a new RV with his winnings

Green Party pins Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding hopes on Istace

Leader Furstenau in town for the announcement of Chemainus businessman’s candidacy

Ladysmith shows strong support for COVID version of Tour de Rock

Senior donates $8,000 from proceeds of year-long bottle collections

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read