CHICAGO — President Barack Obama gave a shout out Wednesday to the Blackhawks, in particular the members of the championship team who hail from Sweden.
In an appearance with the Swedish prime minister in Stockholm, Obama noted the four Hawks players on the Stanley Cup-winning team, calling them "an excellent export that we gladly accept."
The players were Johnny Oduya, Marcus Kruger, Viktor Stalberg and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Talking before reporters in Stockholm with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Obama first noted that "my hometown of Chicago has a lot of people of Swedish descent."
He then added, "I should mention on behalf of hockey fans back home in Chicago, I have to say how grateful our championship Blackhawks are for their several teammates who hail from Sweden. So that’s been an excellent export that we gladly accept."
The Stanley Cup last month spent a few days in Sweden as part of the tradition where players on the winning hockey team are allowed to host the trophy during the offseason.
Oduya brought the Cup to a rink in Stockholm where he played as a child and dreamed of becoming an NHL player. The Hawks player hoisted the cup over his head "just like he used to hoist red pylons" as a kid imagining playing in the championship, according to a report by nhl.com.
Kruger gave the Cup "a primer on Stockholm night life" while Stalberg's adventures included having his photo taken with the trophy and Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee.
Hjalmarsson reportedly danced with the Cup as a band played a Swedish version of Chelsea Dagger, the song played at Hawks games after home team goals.
Hjalmarsson arrived at the event, near his small rural town of Russnas, in a wagon pulled by a tractor, nhl.com reported.