PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins had a busy summer after winning the Stanley Cup.
But there’s one more honor that must be taken care of before the puck can drop on the next season of hockey.
It’s a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet the president and be honored during a ceremony at the White House.
In the locker room Wednesday, the players were pretty excited for the trip. For most of them, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“It’s a unique opportunity we have to be a part of that,” said Patric Hornqvist. “There’s not many guys who can say they’ve been in the White House, so I’m excited for that.”
The team will fly out of Pittsburgh in the morning. Once they get there, they’ll meet President Barack Obama who will honor the Stanley Cup champions during a special ceremony at noon.
A handful of the guys have been to the White House before. Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang all made the trip in 2009 when they last won the Stanley Cup.
“It’s a great experience,” said Kunitz. “It’s a lot of fun to be in a room with someone that’s so important in the world, for him to take time out of his day to let us get a photo and have good memories of a team getting a tour. It’s an exciting time.”
But, for everyone else, it’ll be a new experience, especially for American-born player Phil Kessel, who is still celebrating his first championship.
“I don’t know what it’s going to be like, but it should be a fun, cool experience and I’m looking forward to it,” said Kessel.
Stay with KDKA for Rich Walsh’s full reports from Washington DC on Thursday.