The reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday. No protests. No controversies.
In fact, the event was a major success. Huge fanfare saw the team make an entrance to a hear-it-to-believe-it version of Gloria played by the Marine band, followed by a presentation of the Stanley Cup.
A lengthy moment of silence fell upon those waiting on President Trump’s arrival until someone in the crowd shouted, “Go Blues,” which prompted many claps and cheers!
When President Trump finally made his way to the podium, the St. Louis Blues appeared to be all smiles.
President Trump began by congratulating the Blues on their Stanley Cup win before shifting gears ever-so-slightly.
With unrelated talk of bringing troops home from Syria and sanctions on Turkey, one might think NHL fans might grow weary. Seconds later, however, President Trump had the crowd laughing it up when he remarked that the agents of the NHLers “would have been very proud” of his trade deal with China.
“Those agents, right? They sit in bed, they weigh 350 pounds and they complain, ‘you’re no playing very well today.’ C’mon,” Trump continued to joke.
A few more mentions of President Trump’s latest accomplishment, nods to St. Louis Blues majority owner Tom Stillman and others, somehow led to a mock-auction of the Stanley Cup with Rep. Billy Long of Missouri acting as auctioneer.
President Trump then told the tale of the St. Louis Blues rags-to-riches 2019 Stanley Cup championship win, all while winning the crowd over himself, receiving as many laughs as he had zingers.
Trump showcased Blues centre Alexander Steen’s pearly whites, or lack thereof, and commended left-winger Jaden Schwarz on his Game Five game-winning goal in the first playoff round against the Winnipeg Jets.
Schwarz acknowledged Tyler Bozak in the exchange saying, “I wouldn’t be able to score if it wasn’t for my partner passing me the puck.” Schwarz who claimed Bozak as his golf partner, also challenged President Trump to a future round.
St. Louis Blues superfan Laila Anderson was in attendance and was also honored by President Trump during the celebration. He also brought attention to the efforts put forth by the team to help her in her plight to beat a rare immune disease known as HLH or hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.
St. Louis Blues centreman and 2019 Conn Smyth winner Ryan O’Reilly was called upon, after drawing more laughs from the crowd and a big chuckle from Jaden Schwarz when President Trump suggested that maybe Schwarz should have been MVP.
O’Reilly said rather sheepishly, “I couldn’t do it without these guys behind me. We’re a great team and it was a heck of a run.”
Finally, both Blues majority owner Tom Stillman and head coach Craig Berube were called to the mic, before presenting President Trump with a personalized St. Louis Blues jersey adorned with the number 45.
This bunch of Blues players, despite being mostly Canadian, respected what should be a proud and patriotic moment and, in the end, came out of it looking like the champions they are.
You can watch the full event here on YouTube.