WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Tampa Bay Lightning paid a visit to the White House earlier today to commemorate their win in the NHL playoffs.
“We’re here today to congratulate and welcome to the White House, the Stanley Cup champion, Tampa Bay Lightning,” President Joe Biden said.
The Lightning scored a meeting with Biden after claiming the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons.
“This team joined rare company. One of only eight teams over the last century to win two Stanley Cups in a row,” Biden said.
Team Captain Steven Stamkos says this is a historic moment for him and his teammates.
“We got to spend some quality time with him in the Oval Office as well and hear some stories. It’s just been something that you’re going to remember for a long time,” Stamkos said.
Despite winning the Stanley Cup three times, this is the franchise’s first-ever visit to the White House. The pandemic prevented a visit last year, and the NHL lockout kept them away in 2004.
“We’ve earned a lot of our success the last couple years by just believing in one another and sticking together, so you get rewarded with opportunities like this,” Alternate Captain Ryan McDonagh said.
McDonagh believes the next step is winning the Cup again and punching a ticket back to the White House.
“We’ve clinched a spot in the playoffs and we have an opportunity there to do it again,” McDonagh said.
During their visit Monday, the Lighting also told the president that if they win it all again this year, he’s invited to celebrate with them in Florida.