Obama honors Blackhawks for 'hat trick' of titles

Obama honors Blackhawks for 'hat trick' of titles
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President Obama honored the defending NHL champion Chicago Blackhawks at the White House Thursday for completing a “hat trick” of titles during his presidency. 
 
Obama’s hometown hockey team dropped by 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to celebrate its third Stanley Cup victory in six years. 
 
The president credited the Blackhawks’ front office for the team’s on-ice success, saying its executives have assembled championship-caliber squads year after year despite constant roster turnover. 
 
“It is also a tribute, by the way, to the head of scouting, who just told me that he could help me pick a Supreme Court justice,” Obama joked.
 
“He volunteered,” he added. “He said, ‘I know what I’m doing.’” 
 
The president also pointed out that before he took office, the team hadn’t won a Stanley Cup in almost 50 years.
 
“Now you’ve got the hat trick. So it’s pretty clear the luck I’ve brought to this team,” he said. 
 
Obama said he hopes the Blackhawks can "can squeeze one more Cup in before I leave."
 
He also got in a jab against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who will be at the White House for a state dinner next month. 
 
“And, by the way, we’ve got a state dinner with Canada coming up, so we may just leave it right in the middle of the room," he said. "Just to gloat a little bit.”
 
A Canadian team hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1993. 
 
Members of the team’s longtime core were on hand for their third White House visit, including team captain Jonathan Toews and star forward Patrick Kane
 
But Obama chose to honor two of the Blackhawks’ unsung heros: backup goalie Scott Darling and defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who won his first title at age of 40. 
 
By highlighting lesser known players, Obama avoided mentioning Kane, who was accused of rape during the offseason. The investigation was closed in November without charges being brought. 
 
Kane has a troubled past off the ice. He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly punching and stealing money from a cab driver. He eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. 
 
Obama seemed genuinely thrilled at the gift presented by team Chairman Rocky Wirtz: a parking pass to the United Center, which the Blackhawks share with Obama’s favorite basketball team, the Chicago Bulls.
 
“Can I just say, this is the best gift I’ve ever gotten at the White House," the president said. "This is really cool. You’d pay for this, wouldn’t you? I might sell this on eBay."