NHL

Penguins visit White House to celebrate Stanley Cup title

US President Donald Trump delivers a speech during an event at the White House in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2017, honouring the Pittsburgh Penguins 2017 Stanley Cup victory. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins visited the White House on Tuesday in celebration of their 2017 Stanley Cup Championship.

President Donald Trump started things off by offering support for California amid wildfires devastating the state then offered prayers for grieving Las Vegas after a mass shooting last week before getting into his praise for the Penguins.

"You are true champions and incredible patriots," President Trump told the team.

The Penguins' visit to the White House comes during a time of NFL player protests and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors seeing their invitation rescinded when star guard Stephen Curry expressed he would not visit.

"Over the last couple of months, the New England Patriots, the Chicago Cubs and the NCAA champion Clemson Tigers, football, have all visited the White House to celebrate their great victories," President Trump said. "It's been an honor to have them all here. Now I want to proudly welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins' owners."

President Trump then quipped that Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle could help renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement before making jokes about several Penguins, including stars Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

The Penguins, for their part, vowed not to make the event political.

"From my side of things, there's absolutely no politics involved," Penguins captain Crosby said Monday. "Hopefully it stays that way. It's a visit we've done in the past. It's been a good experience. It's not about politics, that's for sure."

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan added: "I think to have the opportunity to go to the White House obviously means that you've won a championship and that means a lot. What our team has been able to accomplish in the last two seasons our team is extremely proud of."

Updated October 10, 2017