Penguins excited to celebrate Stanley Cup win at White House

PITTSBURGH — As the Penguins prepare to take the ice at the newly named PPG Paints Arena, you can’t blame some of them for looking ahead to tomorrow.

Hundreds of miles away, President Barack Obama awaits inside the White House.

“It’s exciting,” said Sidney Crosby, the team captain. “It’s one of the places you always want to see, especially if you are an American.”

While the tradition of presidents hosting sports teams dates back to the 1800s, Pittsburgh sports teams helped usher in the modern celebrations we’re now used to seeing.

The Penguins were the first NHL champions to get an invite in 1991, hosted by President George H.W. Bush.

The Steelers were the first NFL champions to visit in a dual celebration with the Pirates and President Jimmy Carter.

Tomorrow’s visit will end with a private tour.

“It’s definitely neat to think about presidents, vice presidents, all the history taken place there,’ said Nick Bonino, Penguins center.

The visit to the White House will be one of the final public displays of the Stanley Cup before a new season begins. It’s one last moment for the team to savor and celebrate their incredible playoff run.

Perhaps fittingly, their first game of the season is against the Washington Capitals. They’ll raise the Stanley Cup banner for the game Oct. 13.