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Obama honors Pittsburgh Penguins at White House, takes jab at Phil Kessel

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The Sports Xchange
U.S. President Barack Obama holds his jersey as Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby holds the Stanley Cup during event honoring the NHL 2016 Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on October 6, 2016. From left, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Crosby, Obama, coach Mike Sullivan, owner Ronald Burkle, and owner Mario Lemieux. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI
U.S. President Barack Obama holds his jersey as Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby holds the Stanley Cup during event honoring the NHL 2016 Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on October 6, 2016. From left, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Crosby, Obama, coach Mike Sullivan, owner Ronald Burkle, and owner Mario Lemieux. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

The Pittsburgh Penguins visited the White House on Thursday, marking the second time they've marched to see President Barack Obama at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The Penguins initially visited Obama after defeating the Detroit Red Wings in 2009 and made their latest trek on the heels of a six-game victory over the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup final this June.

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"This is a nice bookend for my presidency," said Obama, who received a No. 44 jersey in both meetings with the Penguins. He also was handed the Stanley Cup by captain Sidney Crosby before receiving a miniature version as well.

Obama did his best to hold court, taking an immediate and funny jab at forward Phil Kessel.

"We are here to celebrate an extraordinary achievement -- Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup champion!" said Obama, who later honored the other members of the "HBK" line (Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino).

Obama also took a shot at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by noting that the last eight Stanley Cup winners he's feted are American-based teams.

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The Commander-in-Chief went back to his old standby with an obligatory Chicago Blackhawks' reference.

"(General manager Jim Rutherford) was smart enough to see that (Mike) Sullivan had coached in the Blackhawks' organization," Obama said of Sullivan, who spent time working in the team's player development department. "So he knew. He knew Sullivan brought a lot to the table."

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