It’s a tradition that’s believed to have been started when Ronald Reagan hosted the New York Islanders in 1983.
Yet, for center Colin Fraser, who has won the Cup twice in the past three years, today will be his first trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Just two weeks after claiming the NHL’s top prize with the Blackhawks in 2010, Chicago traded him to the Edmonton Oilers for a draft pick.
This time around, he’s not only going to D.C., he plans on soaking in as much of it as possible.
“It’s one of those cool things that I think everyone wants to do,” Fraser told MayorsManor. “It’s also one of the lucky things that comes with winning.”
The 28-year old Canadian also has a few concerns about some of the guys he’s going with.
“Dewey probably doesn’t know who the President is,” Fraser said of defenseman Drew Doughty. “I bet you he doesn’t even know who the Prime Minister is either.”
As we started to talk about possible questions his teammates might ask President Obama, you could almost see the wheels turning in Fraser’s head.
“I don’t know what Dewey’s gonna ask him. Hopefully he keeps it classy though.”
Understandably though, Fraser expects a few of the guys to be as pumped as he his about the experience.
“Alec Martinez, he has to be jacked,” Fraser said with a big laugh. “He’s like pro-America, pro-business.”
And then came the fear that might have cost Fraser some sleep last night.
“Mitchy has to be the most excited though,” he said, referring to Willie Mitchell. “If he (had been around more this season), he wouldn’t have stopped talking about it either. He’ll probably tell Mr. Obama what to do before Mr. Obama knows what to do.”
As a big-time supporter of the environment, Mitchell might even try to push his agenda during the visit, if given the opportunity.
“Well, the number one law he would try to pass is to save all the salmon in the waters of British Columbia – even though it’s a different country. He’d be like, ‘Mr. Obama, please do your part and save the salmon.’”
On a more serious note, if Fraser could change just one thing about today, he’d wish his kids were a little older so they could understand how important the visit actually is.
“Going back to when we won the Cup (last year) and I was parading my little boy around, he won’t even remember or know how cool it was. So, it’s the same thing. He doesn’t know Mr. Obama from his dad. So, at the end of the day, it’s one of those cool stories that as a grandfather you can tell your grandchildren.”
It’s also one of the reasons Fraser often brings his son into the locker room for a few minutes after home games.
“I think family is very important,” he explained. “If I was a child and my dad played in the NHL, I’d think it would be pretty cool to be able to hang out with the guys. I want him to be a part of it every bit as much as I am. I try to include him as much as I can without getting in the way.”
Fraser and his wife haven’t quite caught up to captain Dustin Brown‘s traveling crew just yet. Wife Nicole is pregnant with the couple’s fourth child.
“I know they probably want a girl, because they have three boys. But, I’m convinced he’s having a boy for sure, just because it’s Brownie. He already has three crazy boys. So he’s going to have a fourth, just so he can get more gray hair.”
But, what about names? A few weeks ago we ran though some suggestions with Brown. Does Fraser have any thoughts on what to name the baby?
“No to Drew,” he said, while shaking his head side-to-side. “We don’t name our kids after Drew because I wouldn’t want my kid growing up thinking he was named after Drew, even though I love Dewey.”
Then, he had a suggestion, perhaps tinged with a subliminal thought of Captain America as the team heads to the White House today.
“Let’s go with Alex. Not with a C, but with an X, just because Alec doesn’t really like it when you call him Alex. So, Marty should call his kid Alex.”
Wait, Martinez is having a kid too?
“Wow, sorry. Brownie! Brownie should name his kid Alex. Marty’s not having any kids that he knows of.”
Geez, we’re really off topic now. What were we talking about?
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