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Tampa Bay Lightning players were all smiles at the White House on Monday after making their long-awaited trip to Washington, D.C., following back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, but it was a slip-up by President Biden that had one player holding back his laughter.
White House visits for championship teams are nothing out of the ordinary but when the president misspoke, referring to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as Gary “Batman,” one Lightning player struggled to keep his composure.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman arrives at a White House ceremony honoring the 2020-2021 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on April 25, 2022. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
“I want to thank Commissioner Gary Batman for being here as well,” the president said.
Lightning star defenseman Victor Hedman appeared to turn his head to the side as he held back laughter.
Unsurprisingly, social media users took to Twitter to come up with their best Batman jokes.
Monday was the Lightning’s first trip to the White House, despite winning the coveted Stanley Cup three times. The 2004-05 NHL lockout prevented that year’s team from going, and the pandemic delayed this opportunity until nine months after the second of these back-to-back championships.
President Joe Biden holds a jersey during a ceremony with Tampa Bay Lightning to celebrate their 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup championships at the White House, on Monday, April 25, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Tampa Bay is looking to become the first to win the Cup three years in a row since the New York Islanders dynasty did it in the early 1980s.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.