And the rest of his team, the Chicago Blackhawks, shall go with him. Yes, it was announced today that the 2009-10 Stanley Cup winners will finally get their day with the President. That day will be Friday, March 11. At 3 PM Eastern, President Obama will host a ceremony honoring the Blackhawks for their championship win. Along with Coach Q and current players, top brass such as Chairman Rocky Wirtz, Team President John McDonough, Executive Vice President Jay Blunk and General Manager Stan Bowman are all expected to be on hand.â†µ
Immediately following the ceremony, Blackhawks players will join a few members of the Washington Capitals in a "street hockey workout and clinic" hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and a selection of hockey notables. Local youngsters will be able to work on their fundamentals while trying to avoid high-sticking any Secret Service agents lurking nearby. The event should provide some great photo ops.â†µ
The announcement of the honor coincides nicely with a veritable tidal wave of positive momentum the Blackhawks have gathered as of late. In case you're emerging from a 24-hour slumber, the team won again last night, beating the Calgary Flames and giving them a 7-1-2 record in their last 10 games. Remarkably, after being well out of playoff contention for a while, the Blackhawks now sit in fourth place in the Western Conference -- tied with the Phoenix Coyotes at 76 points.â†µ
Naturally, there are no still guarantees the team will see the playoffs. Once you get past the third seed San Jose Sharks, the teams in the fourth through eighth qualifying seeds are very tightly bunched. But the Madhouse On Madison is jumping once again -- even on nights when the Bulls aren't playing -- and the melodious strains of "Chelsea Dagger" are bringing back some great memories of last spring.