The president heralded both teams as sharing a "pretty good comeback story," explaining that the Kings were the first eight-seed in American professional sports to win a championship, while the Galaxy struggled with a slew of injuries through their championship run.
"We also found out that both these teams are full of some pretty stand-up players and coaches," Obama said. "They’re out in the community year-round. They’re changing lives, they’re making a difference."
"I hope you guys caught that," he said to photographers in the White House's East Room. "That doesn’t happen very often."
The president also poked fun at Kings' caption Dustin Brown as the team was posing for a photograph.
"That toothless smile!" Obama laughed. "That's the way a hockey player is supposed to look."
While Obama mentioned Kings head coach Darryl Sutter — and his ties to the president's hometown Chicago Blackhawks — he made no mention of Sutter's stated intention to lobby the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Sutter, a native of Alberta, Canada, told Canada’s The Globe and Mail that he plans to press Obama on the proposed Alberta-to-Texas oil sands pipeline.
“I’m gonna ask him about it – damn rights I am,” Sutter said.
Sutter did not speak at the ceremony, and was not present for a question-and-answer session with athletes and schoolchildren held after the championship ceremony. That event, intended to promote the first lady's "Let's Move!" initiative, saw players discuss their favorite healthy snacks and workout routines.