Obama Honors Phil Kessel & Penguins During White House Ceremony

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins traveled to the White House for a special ceremony on Thursday.

The team met with President Barack Obama, where they were honored for winning their fourth Stanley Cup.

Obama opened the ceremony saying, “We are here to celebrate an extraordinary achievement, Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup champion.”

The remark was met with plenty of laughs and applause.

Looking Back At The Pens’ 2009 White House Visit:

The Penguins last visited the White House in 2009 after overcoming the Detroit Red Wings in a thrilling seven-game series. It was also Obama’s first year in office so it’s fitting that the Penguins returned for his last.

“This is a nice bookend to my presidency because the first year, you guys won the Cup. Now, you’re coming back for my final year. A lot has changed during the interim. Back in 2009, my hair matched the color of the puck more than the ice. Sid the Kid was actually a kid and Geno was still snapping pictures with his flip phone,” Obama said.

Evgeni Malkin at the White House in 2009. (Photo Credit: KDKA)

Evgeni Malkin at the White House in 2009. (Photo Credit: KDKA)

Obama went on to praise Crosby’s unbelievable achievements on the ice throughout his career. However, he took a moment to recognize a special moment in San Jose after the Penguins won the Stanley Cup.

Trevor Daley’s mother, Trudy, was battling cancer during the Penguins’ playoff run.

Earlier in the playoffs, Daley had spoken to Crosby about how his mother was not doing well. However, she told Trevor that she wanted to see him skate with the Cup.

The story stuck with Crosby and after receiving the Stanley Cup from the commissioner, he immediately handed it to Daley.

“The captain always chooses who gets it second, it’s a big honor. Sid surprised everybody, including Trevor by handing it to him. Trevor’s mom, Trudy, got to see her son skate around with it on a broken ankle and passed away a few days later. That’s a testament to the kind of person Sid is, but also the kind of team this is,” Obama said.

Watch the full ceremony here:

At the end of the ceremony, the Penguins presented Obama with a personalized No. 44 jersey and a smaller version of the Stanley Cup.

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