President Obama to honor Blackhawks

President Obama will host the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on March 11 during a ceremony at the White House.

Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, general manager Stan Bowman, coach Joel Quenneville and other executives and team members will attend the ceremony. Former Blackhawks, who were traded or left last year's team as a free agent, also are invited.

"That's one of the huge perks of winning the championship," Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I'm really looking forward to it. I know that all the guys on the team are as well. We get a chance to go to Walter Reed Hospital and visit with some military veterans so it should be a wonderful experience and something to remember. Hopefully we can beat the Capitals a couple days afterwards."

Following the ceremony, there will be a street hockey workout and clinic on a rink set up on the South Lawn for local youth. It will be presided over by Michelle Obama, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean and conducted by members of the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks will be in Washington D.C. play the Capitals on March 13.

Obama is a former Illinois state representative from Chicago.