WASHINGTON –The New Jersey Devils celebrated their latest NHL title Monday with a White House visit and a chat with President Bush — who kidded them about missing teeth.
In a Rose Garden ceremony, Bush said the Stanley Cup trophy, which was on display nearby, was proof of a team’s “athleticism and desire and drive, a couple of cuts here and there, maybe a missed tooth or two.”
As if to underscore the point, Bush posed with Colin White, a defenseman whose gap-toothed grin is testament to the rough-and-tumble nature of his chosen profession.
Team captain Scott Stevens presented Bush a red team jersey with “1” and “Bush” written on the back. Other than the name, it looked identical to the jersey the team presented in 1995 to then-President Clinton.
When Stevens was asked how a fan would tell the two presidents apart in a hockey game, he replied: “President Clinton’s a bigger man. He’d probably be a defenseman, and President Bush would probably be a centerman.”
The Devils earned their third NHL title in nine years by defeating the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, sweeping all four games at home to win the best-of-seven series.
Bush headed back to work after the brief ceremony but stopped at his office door and called out, “You guys want to come in and see the Oval Officeâ¢ Come on. You want to bring your wives?”
The grateful group of visitors took the president up on the offer.
“He talked about the history of the Oval Office, how they picked their carpet, and which desk he picked,” goalie Martin Brodeur said afterward. “Little things that nobody would know, I guess. He gave a little speech about running the country. It was pretty impressive.”
Satan signs two-year deal with Sabres
Restricted free agent forward Miroslav Satan signed a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
Satan, who had 26 goals and a career-high 75 points last season, earned $3.55 million, and has said he wanted to be the team’s highest-paid player.
A seven-time 20-goal scorer, Satan had sought $5 million a year. The team had offered $4.5 million.
The deal was struck after a conference call between managing partner Larry Quinn, general manager Darcy Regier and Satan, who was in his native Slovakia.
The 28-year-old Satan was acquired from Edmonton in 1997 and has led the Sabres in goal scoring the last five seasons.
Fedorov, Reid among Canucks cuts
Fedor Fedorov and Brandon Reid were among nine players cut by the Vancouver Canucks.
Fedorov, the younger brother of Detroit star Sergei Fedorov, and Reid were sent to Manitoba of the American Hockey League. Fedorov had one assist in seven games with Vancouver last season, while Reid had two goals and three assists in seven games.
Vancouver also demoted forwards Tyler Bouck, Pat Kavanagh, Zenith Komarniski and Jimmy Roy, and defensemen Dallas Eakins, Mikko Jokela and Jaroslav Obsut.
Veteran forward Hogue released by Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets released veteran left wing Benoit Hogue from a tryout agreement.
Hogue, 36, had 222 goals and 321 assists in 863 NHL games with Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Toronto, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Boston and Washington.
After sitting out last season, Hogue tried to make the Blue Jackets’ roster this fall.