President Joe Biden welcomed two-time Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning to the White House on Monday. Biden praised the team for both its on-ice wins and off-ice charitable efforts, calling the Lightning “one of the most well-rounded teams in recent memory” with its back-to-back championships. The trip to the White House had been delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions. The last NHL team to visit the White House was the 2019 Stanley Cup champions St. Louis Blues on Oct. 15, 2019.
With team captain Steven Stamkosm, team owner Jeff Vinik and other players behind him on the South Lawn, Biden said: “This team joined rare company — one of only eight teams over the last century to win two Stanley Cups in a row. And I know that those two championships are very different,” he added, noting that the team’s 2020 win came in the NHL’s COVID-19 “bubble” in Edmonton, Canada, while the second came in front of home fans. The president also honored the team’s community and charitable activities, through which it has raised more than $25 million for local causes.
The Lightning is the second Tampa Bay team to visit the White House within the past 12 months. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL visited the White House last July after winning the Super Bowl the previous February. Following their two consecutive NHL titles, the Lightning are preparing for a third run at the cup. They beat the Florida Panthers on Sunday before leaving for Washington, D.C., on Monday, and are then traveling to Columbus, Ohio to play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
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