Pens' Bylsma gets surprise call from President
Standing on the red carpet leading into the NHL Awards Show at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma almost had a story for the ages Thursday.
His cell phone, low on battery charge, rang and a voice said, "Hold for the President..."
"I was scared big-time," Bylsma said. "I didn't know he was calling. My phone charger is broken, and I was down to my last bar. I was scared it was going to go out.
"In the two seconds that I'm waiting to hear from him, I'm wondering, 'Does the President call back?'"
President Barack Obama would know what area code to dial. His congratulatory call to Bylsma, whose Penguins won the Stanley Cup last Friday, was his second to a member of a Pittsburgh pro sports team in four months.
Obama spoke with several Steelers after they won the Super Bowl in February. Later he named the NFL's championship chairman Dan Rooney as a U.S. ambassador to Ireland.
Bylsma will remain simply the Penguins head coach, though he'll always remember his first conversation with the "most powerful man in the free world."
"It was a brief conversation. He congratulated us. He lamented that his team, Chicago, didn't have a chance to play us. And he talked about Pittsburgh being the 'City of Champions,'" Bylsma said of Obama, who also invited the Penguins to the White House in the fall.
"It's unique. To recognize that voice, to know it's the President talking to you. It's one of those shake-your-head moments, and I've had a few in the past six days."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work
- Pirates sign free agent 1B-OF Goebbert, RHP Webster
- Attorney wants evidence from South Allegheny teacher’s cellphone thrown out
- Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward
- Explosion claims life of garage owner
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Warhol bridge closed as police investigate unattended bag
- PIAA Class AA first-round preview: Karns City vs. Bedford
- Art review: ‘Therman Statom: Indagare’ at Pittsburgh Glass Center