United States President Barack Obama welcomed the 2009 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins to the White House Thursday, and celebrated the hockey team for its performance on and off the ice.

 

Obama also slipped in a friendly jab at Cole Harbour’s own, and Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby after No. 87 came forward and handed him a team jersey with No. 44 on the back.

 

"Sidney must be really fast, because there are some big hockey players, and he is not one of them," Obama is quoted as saying.

 

The Penguins won the best-of-seven series in June, defeating the defending champion Detroit Red Wings. They then took the Cup on a road trip to thank their fans, an act that earned the players the thanks of a grateful president.

“They took it on fishing trips and stopped by neighbourhood barbecues. They visited elementary schools and brightened the days of children recovering in the hospital,” Obama said during a ceremony that was moved indoors to the East Room because of threatening skies.

“I think this Cup has even held a baby or two. So this is a team that understands that being a champion doesn't end when you step off the ice,” he added.