"It is the first time as president that I get to say, thank you for bringing a championship to my hometown of Chicago," Obama said.
The president, who is no stranger to the Chicago sports scene, kept the mood incredibly light poked a little fun at the misery that many hockey fans have had to endure.
"Waiting builds character," he said of the Blackhawks decades long drought between championships. "We have a lot of character. But even by Chicago standards, 49 years, that's a pretty long time."
He put it in perspective: The last time the Blackhawks won the Stanely Cup movies cost 69 cents; John Kennedy was taking office in the White House; and Obama was in diapers.
A few Hawks players kept the mood light, as well. Patrick Kane couldn't stop whispering to his neighbor during the president's address.
But everyone, from former mates Brent Sopel and Cristobal Huet, to Chairman W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz, Team President John McDonough, Executive Vice President Jay Blunk, General Manager Stan Bowman and Head Coach Joel Quenneville and the rest of the squad couldn't hide their enthusiasm or their smiles over being that close to the president.
After his comments, McDonough presented Obama with a personalized Blackhawks jersey and a miniature version of the Stanely Cup. and the team headed to the south lawn to host a children's street hockey clinic with the Washington Capitals.
Michelle Obama, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will oversee the games as part of the first lady's "Let's Move!" anti-childhood obesity campaign.