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Biden avoids politics in honoring hockey champion Lightning

by Good News

Global Politics – WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden joked that Steven Stamkos used to be getting mild after taking half in in the National Hockey League for 14 seasons, praised the Tampa Bay Lightning’s vaccine efforts and in any other case averted politics whereas honoring the crew for successful the

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden joked that Steven Stamkos used to be getting mild after taking half in in the National Hockey League for 14 seasons, praised the Tampa Bay Lightning’s vaccine efforts and in any other case averted politics whereas honoring the crew for successful the Stanley Cup in every of the past two seasons.

In a rare sports activities spoil amid his administration’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the president on Monday referenced first girl Jill Biden’s attendance at a vaccination tournament on the Lightning’s residence arena final 365 days and congratulated the Lightning for successful two pandemic championships: one in an empty constructing in a quarantined bubble and one other in a packed residence at residence in Tampa.

“I’m no longer asserting that the major girl being there at your arena in the center of the playoffs is why you won,” Biden said with a smile. “Nonetheless appropriate asserting that she used to be there in the center of the election season, as effectively. She seems to video display up when folks purchase. Just something to imagine.”

Biden made microscopic mention of gamers rather then Stamkos whereas talking about the Lighting fixtures’s relieve-to-relieve title runs, which relied heavily on Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, forward Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev. Vasilevskiy used to be the playoff MVP final 365 days, and Kucherov used to be the head scorer in every postseason.

All three gamers attended the tournament, and Sergachev shared pictures of them spherical the White Dwelling on social media. There had been no noticeable absences, and a handful of gamers from the Lightning’s 2020 championship crew who had departed or retired even made appearances.

Only for this event, the crew made a third day out to the nation’s capital in eight months after already visiting the Washington Capitals twice this season. The Lightning flew Sunday night time after taking half in on the Florida Panthers and had been region to return residence before coping with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday in one among their final games of the in fashion season before the playoffs originate subsequent week.

“Pretty indispensable everyone used to be on board, and everyone that would maybe well make it — susceptible gamers and stuff — all of them tried to make it here,” alternate captain Ryan McDonagh said. “It’s appropriate a gigantic tradition that now we possess: You change into fragment of a championship crew, you earn to hump to the White Dwelling and meet the president.”

Despite the Lightning successful the Stanley Cup three instances — in 2004, 2020 and 2021 — it used to be the organization’s first time visiting a sitting president on the White Dwelling. The 2004-05 NHL lockout averted that 365 days’s crew from going, and the pandemic delayed this likelihood until 9 months after the second of those relieve-to-relieve championships.

“It used to be a protracted time in the making,” Stamkos said. “We weren’t certain if we had been going to earn this likelihood, on the different hand it used to be undoubtedly price the wait.”

Stamkos, who is Canadian, deferred to McDonagh, a Minnesota native, to focus on on behalf of the crew on the ceremony. Avid gamers and coach Jon Cooper, who had been carrying every Cup rings, had been most impressed by Biden though-provoking them into the Oval Office to chat afterward.

“Within the region he’s in (being) the chief of the free world and all that stuff, he has a whimsical capability to wipe that persona apart and appropriate be a human being adore he used to be one among our teammates,” said Cooper, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada. “I form of wished to earn grasping and sit down with a beer on a barstool with this man and eavesdrop on the memoir of his lifestyles. It’s doubtless you’ll well perhaps also peek why he used to be elected president.”

Biden won some extra aspects when he praised the Tampa region for Valuable League Baseball’s Rays reaching the World Series in 2020 and the NFL’s Buccaneers successful the Gigantic Bowl months later. He said the Lightning “will be here subsequent 365 days — who is conscious of?”

The Lightning are again among the NHL’s high teams and are making an are attempting to change into the major to purchase the Cup three years in a row for the explanation that Unusual York Islanders dynasty in the early 1980s.

“The honest aspect with our community is the hunger’s unexcited there,” McDonagh said. “We don’t need any form of further motivation, nonetheless undoubtedly this does heighten the pleasure, for certain, going into the final week of the in fashion season and before the originate of the playoffs.”

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Follow AP Hockey Creator Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press

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