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Kings' White House visit could include pipeline pitch from coach

March 26, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings Coach Darryl Sutter has indicated he might lobby for the Keystone XL pipeline project during the team's visit with President Obama.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter has indicated he might lobby for the Keystone… (Wally Skalij / Associated…)

CHICAGO -- Kings captain Dustin Brown already had his semi-private talk with President Obama, shortly after the Kings won the Stanley Cup in June.

So what will be on his mind if he gets the chance to chat with the president later today when the Kings and MLS champion Galaxy visit the White House?

“I’ll keep it pretty simple,” Brown said. “I’ll just go there and enjoy it. Hopefully it won’t be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But you’ve got to treat it like that.”

Brown was talking shortly after the Kings’ biggest win of the season, a 5-4 victory on Monday night here over the Blackhawks in which he scored the game-winning goal with just under a minute and a half remaining.

The Kings departed for Washington on Monday night with the White House event scheduled for this morning, about 10:30 a.m. Pacific time. Coverage will be live streamed by websites of the Kings and Galaxy and the event covered by Washington bureau of The Times.

During the visit, there could be some lobbying going on from a certain hockey coach who owns a sizable ranch in Alberta, Canada. 

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, born and raised in Alberta, said this month that he would like to ask Obama about the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, of which he is in favor. The proposed pipeline, which would run from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, has been a controversial flash point on both sides of the border.

Kings winger Dustin Penner, who won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, did not make the trip to the White House because he was playing for the Edmonton Oilers by the time the Ducks were honored.

“I am looking forward to it,” Penner said. “It should be my second one but it’s not.”

Penner joked, saying: “I’m going to probably ask him if he knows of any California state tax loopholes.”

All the Kings are expected to be on hand, including the injured defenseman Willie Mitchell, who has not played this season because of lingering issues with his knee.

The Kings will fly to St. Louis later in the day. The second game of this five-game trip is Thursday against the Blues.

But at least for a few hours, the Kings will slip out of 24/7 hockey mode.

“Obviously it’s something you’ve learned about since you were a little kid, growing up in the States,” Kings goalie Jonathan Quick said. “I think we get a private tour. That’ll be pretty cool. I’m looking forward to it.

“You want to enjoy it. You’re on a road trip, a business trip. You’ve got work to do, around it.”

Said defenseman Drew Doughty, of Obama:  “I guess it’ll be cool to shake his hand.”


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