Chicago and its sports teams are never too far off President Barack Obama’s mind.
During Obama’s visit to Sweden on Wednesday, Obama couldn’t help but thank the country for providing a number of its home-grown players to the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
“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,” said Obama during a joint press conference with Sweden prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, according to a White House press release. “So that’s been an excellent export that we gladly accept.”
The Blackhawks benefited from having four Swedish players last season. Swedish-born forwards Marcus Kruger and Viktor Stalberg and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya assisted in the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup season. Swedish-born backup goaltender Henrik Karlsson was also on the team’s playoff roster, but did not appear in any games.
Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Oduya and Stalberg all spent a day with the Stanley Cup in Sweden in August.
The Blackhawks will return Kruger, Hjalmarsson and Oduya to their 2013-14 roster and also have five other Swedish players in their system. The Blackhawks selected three players from Sweden in the 2013 draft.