Obama Stanley Cup Champion Penguins honored by President

Obama praised the Penguins' resilience, noting that in December they were closer to last place than first.

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US President Barack Obama (R) gestures as Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (L) picks up the Stanley Cup during an event at the White House in Washington, DC, October 6, 2016, honoring the Penguins 2016 Stanley Cup victory play

US President Barack Obama (R) gestures as Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (L) picks up the Stanley Cup during an event at the White House in Washington, DC, October 6, 2016, honoring the Penguins 2016 Stanley Cup victory

(AFP)
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US President Barack Obama honored the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, calling their second trip to the White House during his term "a nice bookend" for his presidency.

Obama first hosted the Penguins after they beat the Detroit Red Wings in 2009 for the NHL crown.

In June they downed the San Jose Sharks in six games to lift the trophy.

"This is a nice bookend for my presidency," said Obama, who got a chance to hoist the massive Stanley Cup before receiving a miniature replica from the Penguins and their Canadian captain, Sidney Crosby.

Obama did his best to hold court, taking an immediate and funny jab at forward Phil Kessel.

Obama said he'd reminded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that all eight of the Stanley Cup winners he's feted are US-based teams -- even if they are well-stocked with Canadian talent.

Obama praised the Penguins' resilience, noting that in December they were closer to last place than first.

"What I like best about this team's victory is that no one thought they could pull it off," Obama said. "I obviously sympathize with that. They said the same thing about me."

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