The Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues visited the White House on Tuesday, showing up en masse for a ceremony with President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden.
“It was a very lighthearted, fun kind of celebration,” said Blues chairman Tom Stillman, who gave the president a “Trump” No. 45 Blues jersey. “You don’t expect it to be lots of laughs and comfortable — jokes. It was a lot of fun.”
In March, more than nine months after the Washington Capitals won the 2018 title, not all of the team’s players attended a similar ceremony, including starting goaltender Braden Holtby and right wing Brett Connolly, who previously said they would not attend.
That wasn’t the case Tuesday. The only player missing was new defenseman Justin Faulk, who joined the Blues in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes before the regular season. He hasn’t been part of any Cup-related events.
“I think this team acts as a team in everything they do,” Stillman said via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “They stick together and I think by and large, I like to keep politics and sports separate.
“This is a matter of a traditional honor by the presidency, and it’s something you do. And I’m really proud of our group for all coming together - and had a good time with it as well.”
While the president did take time to comment on developments in Turkey and Syria, he did touch on the accomplishment by the Blues, who beat the Boston Bruins in seven games to earn the title.
Trump singled out center Jaden Schwartz for his 12-goal performance (though calling him Jason a couple of times), and goalie Jordan Binnington, who made 32 saves on 33 shots in the Game 7 finale, a 4-1 victory.
Asked by Trump how that one shot got past him, Binnington simply replied, “It’s my bad.”
Trump also wanted to know if the pressure was off in St. Louis after the Blues finally won for the first time in four Stanley Cup Finals.
“I don’t know about that,” head coach Craig Berube responded.
There was no meal served to the Blues contingent during their stay, but they were given a tour of the White House that included more time with Trump in the Oval Office.
—Field Level Media