President Obama thanks Sweden for Hawks

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
5:28
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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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.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
36 16 20 9
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 16
AssistsP. Kane 20
+/-K. Versteeg 15
GAAC. Crawford 2.00