[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[January 30, 1998]
[Pages 148-149]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks to the 1997 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings
January 30, 1998

    The President. Commissioner Bettman, Coach 
Bowman.  To Denise Ilitch-Lites and all the members of the Ilitch family, please 
tell Mike and Marian 
we're thinking about them. Senator Abraham, 
Congressman and Mrs. Dingell, thank you so much for being here. Congressman 
Kildee, Congressman Knollenberg, Congressman Levin, 
Congressman Stupak, former Senator 
Riegle, former Governor 
Blanchard, and to the very proud mayor of 
Detroit, Mayor Archer.
    Teddy Roosevelt became famous for many things, but one of them was 
his great saying, ``Speak softly and carry a big stick''--advice the Red 
Wings have taken literally. [Laughter] No one has to remind anyone else 
that you are the Stanley Cup champion. You didn't just win the Stanley 
Cup, you swept a strong Flyers team in four games after finishing with 
the best record in the league. Your coach's name is engraved on the cup 
so many times, I'm surprised it's not called the Stanley-Bowman Cup now. 
    But it's the first Stanley Cup for your captain, Steve 
Yzerman. Steve, you and your teammates proved 
that the Red Wings were the best hockey team in the world. And now all 
of your games will be engraved forever on this historic cup.
    There's one member of this team I especially want to mention, 
because I know how much Vladimir Konstantinov means to everyone here. And I just met him, and I'm 
thrilled that he's here. Thank you, Vladimir. [Applause] Thank you.
    Vladi, we know how hard you are working, and how far you have come 
since your accident last summer. You are showing every day that you have 
the heart of a champion, and you're showing even greater courage off the 
    When I met Vladi in there a few minutes ago, I reminded him that I 
am term-limited in my present position, and I asked him to take a 
picture with me. I said, you know, you can't ever tell, I might want to 
run for office in Russia some day. [Laughter] So he agreed to do it. I 
expect it to be in the papers in Moscow any

[[Page 149]]

day--[laughter]--and I expect my popularity to soar as a result of it. 
[Laughter] And we thank him so much.
    I also want to say, I know we're all thinking about Sergei 
Mnatsakanov. Our thoughts and prayers are 
with him and with his family.
    Now let me thank the entire team for letting us borrow the Cup to 
display here at the White House. You've earned it, and I don't expect 
you to give it up without a fight. So congratulations on your victory, 
and good luck in 1998.
    Thank you. And now I'd like to introduce Senator Levin. Thank you 
very much.

[At this point, Senator Carl Levin and Denise 
Ilitch-Lites made brief remarks, 
followed by Coach Scotty Bowman,  who made 
brief remarks and presented the President with a miniature Stanley Cup 
replica with the President's name engraved on it.]

    The President. Oh, thank you. [Inaudible]

[At this point, Steve Yzerman made brief 
remarks and presented the President with a personalized Red Wings 

    The President. Oh, isn't it great? Thank you. Thank you so much. 
Bless you.

Note: The President spoke at 5:16 p.m. in the East Room at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Gary Bettman, commissioner, 
National Hockey League; Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch, and 
their children, Denise Ilitch-Lites, Ronald Ilitch, and Lisa Ilitch-
Murray; Debbie Dingell, wife of Representative John D. Dingell; former 
Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr.; former Gov. James J. Blanchard of 
Michigan; Mayor Dennis W. Archer of Detroit; and Red Wings defenseman 
Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, both of whom 
were seriously injured in an automobile accident a few days after the 
Stanley Cup finals in June 1997.