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Wednesday, June 12

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Blackhawks Tue Nov 05 2013

White House Visit Culminates 2013 Blackhawks Season

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.png After the Blackhawks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 late last season on April 24, they locked up the Presidents' Trophy for the first time in 22 years. Back then, the Minnesota North Stars quickly brought Mike Keenan's team back down to earth with a first-round upset, and that alone was enough to remind Blackhawks fans that no trophy awarded prior to June should matter.

That 1991 team, albeit talented, was unable to finish the goal it set out at the beginning of the season; the 2013 team, albeit rebuilt from a championship three years prior, was able to stay focused and followed through from the Presidents' Trophy to a meeting with President Barack Obama.

For the second time in three years, coach Joel Quenneville, staff and most of the 2010 team returned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for another visit with the leader of the free world, who happens to be a native Chicagoan. The players mingled around the East Wing while gazing out onto the South Lawn, taking in the final piece of the championship celebration puzzle that comes with winning it all.

It's ironic how celebrating a season, which almost never existed due to the butting of heads over millions of dollars that begat a lockout which shutdown the beginning of the season, culminated in Washington, D.C. Heck, if the players' union and owners eventually can get it figured out, maybe there's hope for government just yet.

"Since I took office we've hosted a lot of championship teams: from Boston and New York, Pittsburgh and Miami," President Obama said while standing at the podium. "But since I've been President only one team has brought a world championship to my hometown of Chicago. And now the Blackhawks have done it twice."

The President also showed a little humor by cracking wise at Corey Crawford's expense, extending from his "blue" speech at Grant Park, suggesting he was hanging out a little too often with mayor Rahm Emanuel. The President also acknowledged another leader in his presence, that of the captain Jonathan Toews.

"He's still only, by the way, 25 years old," the President said of Toews. "Now I don't remember everything I was doing when I was 25, but I wasn't doing that. Incredible leadership on his part."

For a brief moment, with all politics aside, the day belonged to the throngs of Blackhawks fans everywhere who stuck with this team to witness it win two Stanley Cups in the salary-cap era. No other team has accomplished this feat, and if general manager Stan Bowman has any say in the matter, regardless of his politics, he'd want nothing more than to shake hands with the President again next year.

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