October 16, 2019
WASHINGTON – With the Stanley Cup making its way to Capitol Hill today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to recognize the St. Louis Blues’ historic achievement and all it has meant to Missourians and fans across the country.
Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:
“Mr. President, I want to talk about a very different topic, and that’s the Stanley Cup. Yesterday at the White House, the St. Louis Blues were warmly welcomed by the president in a ceremony celebrating their Stanley Cup victory. On June the 12th, the Blues made history when they defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“It’s hard to imagine at the beginning of this season that the Blues could have done this, they were the lowest ranked team in the National Hockey League at the beginning of the season. As they got into January, I think there was a time in the month of January, where the odds that the Blues would win the Stanley Cup were 150-to-1. I’m not particularly a betting man, but knowing what I know now, we wouldn’t have to put much money on that bet, Mr. President, to have won a significant amount of money.
“As it turned out, however, as you and I know, and what we do here and what we’ve done in our lives, the odds aren’t really what counts. What counts is how you play the season. Just like we often say in politics, candidates matter. In hockey and in sports, the players matter. How they come together as a team matters, whether that team really becomes a team or not matters, and this one did.
“It was a season the Blues filled with record breaking achievements. Jordan Binnington became the first and only rookie goalie to win 16 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Ryan O’Reilly set a franchise record with 23 points in the playoffs and was named the post season most valuable player. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final was the most watched NHL game in 36 years. And for the first time in franchise history, the Blues brought the Stanley Cup home to Missouri to celebrate their achievement as the best sports fans in Missouri stepped out. 500,000 people were there when the Stanley Cup parade was shown in St. Louis for the first time. 500,000 - as you know, Mr. President, and several states represented on the floor - that would be everybody in the state. And 500,000 is a pretty big crowd anywhere, as it was St. Louis that day. Today, the Stanley Cup trophy will be on display here on Capitol Hill so that Blues fans in the area can get a chance to see this legendary trophy in person.
“The club's seen that the Stanley Cup has already traveled all over the world since the Blues won the Stanley Cup. Ryan O’Reilly brought the Cup to Ontario to share it with his ninety-nine-year-old grandmother, probably one of the oldest people to see the Stanley Cup. But for sure the youngest baby to be put in the Stanley Cup, the record was broken when the trophy was brought to a mother and her newborn child at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. Baby - barely born - right there in the Stanley Cup setting the new ‘Stanley Cup youngest baby in the Cup’ record.
“We'll never forget the image of Laila Anderson. Laila, a young girl battling a life threatening disease, became in many ways the number one fan of the team. Laila, by the way, was at the White House in the Rose Garden yesterday and she was called up to stand by the president and the Stanley Cup with the team surrounding both of them, yesterday in the Rose Garden. The night they won, she was on the ice with the players celebrating as the Stanley Cup was passed around at the end of Game 7. The day after the Blues received their championship rings, two players visited Laila to personally deliver her her very own ring. I saw those rings yesterday and they're just about as big as Laila’s hand.
“They were big rings, but her name was inscribed on the diamond-studded championship ring that was given to her, which also included the words ‘Play Gloria,’ which became the theme song, fight song, inspirational song for the Blues, at the end of the season. Blues fans have plenty to be excited about this season, the majority of the names of the players that are now etched on the Stanley Cup are back this year. The roster is even better with the addition of defenseman, Justin Faulk. We're also proud to say that St. Louis will host the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in January. That game of course brings together the most talented players in professional hockey. I know St. Louis is ready to welcome them and we’ll all be excited to further solidify St. Louis’s place as one of the great sports cities in America.
“It's been a great year for Blues fans and I hope the team will once again have the opportunity to visit the White House next year, and this will just be the first year of many years where those of us in the Missouri delegation will get to host the Stanley Cup here in the Capitol.”