FW: In-town pool report #1: Chicago Blackhawks/lunch lid

-----Original Message-----
From: Eilperin, Juliet [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 12:03 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: In-town pool report #1: Chicago Blackhawks/lunch lid

At 11:19 am, President Obama enthusiastically welcomed the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to the White House for the third time in his presidency (the other two times being in 2011 and 2013). While the event was open press, here are a few of the highlights. Please check quotes against the transcript:

All of the players and team officials were dressed in conservative suits except for Brent Seabrook, who wore a gray suit with w large white checked pattern. In the front row stood NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the team's president John McDonough and the team's owner and chairman Rocky Wirtz, along with President Obama.

The president was visibly excited to welcome the team, and was eager to take credit for their change in fortunes. He noted that before he became president "the Blackhawks had gone almost half a century" without a championship title. "Now you've got the hat trick, so I think it's pretty clear the kind of luck I've brought to this team.

He hailed the massive Stanley Cup to his side, calling it "the best trophy in sports," adding later, "And by the way we've got a state dinner with Canada coming up, so we may just have to leave it right in the middle of the room."

He praised a couple of the team's "unsung heroes," including Kimmo Timonen, who overcome blood clots last year to help win the championship at age 40, and backup goalie Scott Darling, who paid for a man who he met in Arizona and was "down on his luck" to stay in a hotel room for a month so he could get back on his feet.

Obama also made it clear he was still rooting for other teams in his adopted hometown. "I haven't given up on the Bulls, or the White Sox, or the Bears, or heck, I'd even take the Cubs!" he exclaimed, to a thunderous reception from the audience.

The Blackhawks' Wirtz gave the president not only a replica of the Stanley Cup and a team jersey but a parking pass to the United Center, where the Blackhawks and the Bulls play. "This is the best gift I've ever gotten," the president said of the parking pass. "This is really cool... I might sell this on eBay."

Of the Cup replica, Obama said, "This is almost as cool as the version that pops popcorn, that I also still have. And it's high-quality popcorn, I want you to know."

The event concluded with a group photo at 11:33 am. With that, we have a lunch lid-with the exception of the briefing--until 2 pm.

Juliet Eilperin
White House Bureau Chief
Washington Post
(O) xxx-xxx-xxxx
(C) xxx-xxx-xxxx

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