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.”

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announed through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

CRD directors, former colleagues mourn director Byron Kemp

Retired SD27 principal and current Area E CRD director passed away Monday

Youth charged with arson after lighting fires during 2017 wildfires

Quick action of bystanders saved elderly woman from blaze, say police

Duelling pianos to duke it out at lakecity Boston Pizza

Improvised, interactive audience request show in town for two shows, Jan 17 and 18

Grey day for Cariboo Chilcotin Wednesday, Jan, 17

Cloudy skies dominate the week’s weather

VIDEO: Williams Lake city councillors commit to overdose response training

A presentation by the Boys and Girls Club’s harm reduction co-ordinator and the RCMP has Williams Lake city council wanting to be proactive.

Food industry failing at voluntary sodium reduction: Health Canada

Health Canada report shows the food industry made no meaningful progress in curtailing salt levels

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announed through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Best B.C. cities to live in: millennial edition

Other local municipalities score at bottom of list from real estate blog

Solitary confinement in Canadian prisons unconstitutional: B.C. Supreme Court

Associations argued that solitary confinement was inhuman

1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

Fire at Tolko in Quesnel this morning

The Quesnel Fire Department responded at 2:30 this morning

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

154 remote B.C. communities to get high-speed internet

Government funding to bring subsea fiber optic cable to connect people on the coast

Most Read