Lost in the controversy, consternation and conservative politics of the Great Tim Thomas Snub was the fact that the Leader of the Free World called Brad Marchand the "Little Ball of Hate."
In political terms, this is what you'd call a "gaffe."
Marchand has many nicknames — "Nose Face Killah" being perhaps the gold standard — and the Boston Bruins pest may have been called "The Little Ball of Hate" in some circles. But there is but one Ball of Hatred in NHL history, and he is Pat Verbeek.
To have the famous nickname of a proud Hartford Whaler bestowed upon a Boston player during a White House Bruins' Stanley Cup celebration … well, blasphemy doesn't begin to describe it. (Unless Verbeek has given Marchand his nickname blessing like Ken "The Rat" Linseman.)
But we're burying the lede here: President Barack Obama singled out Brad Marchand during a speech at the White House, saying he "shrugged off the rookie jitters" to score five goals in the Final. He later shook the hand that punched a Sedin.
"I really wasn't sure what was going to go on there," said Marchand after the Bruins' White House celebration on Monday.
"It really caught me off guard. I was a little embarrassed. [Zdeno Chara] gave me a little shot there from behind. It was all in good fun."
Did Coach Claude Julien expect Obama to call out Marchand?
"Well, you know what? I've called him out a few times and there's no doubt that his calling him out has had more of an effect than I've had on him."
Marchand said attending the White House celebration and meeting the President was unbelievable. "I never dreamed of having this opportunity. It's pretty surreal."
But did he take full advantage of the opportunity? Like, for example, asking Obama for a pardon in case Marchand has to face Sheriff Shanahan again for a suspension?
"No, I never thought about that," he said with a laugh. "I might have to run back upstairs and get one right now."
Now, as a public service, we present President Barack Obama's remarks in celebration of the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup championship, featuring the (awfully shaky) Brad Marchand Iso-Cam …