Biden, Trudeau make bet on Stanley Cup Final

US-Canada relations just got a little more interesting.

President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shook hands — virtually, at least — on a wager over the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens during Game 1 of the best-of-seven series Monday.

Trudeau, a die-hard Montreal fan, reached out to the White House via Twitter, writing: “Two of the best teams in the NHL are facing off right now … how about a friendly wager,
@POTUS?” (The PM also posted the same message in French, for the benefit of his Quebecois followers).

Biden — or at least the official @POTUS account — responded to Trudeau with a very Biden-esque “You’re on pal” and throwing in the hashtag, “#GoBolts” for good measure.

Terms of the wager were not immediately disclosed. It is believed to be the first time a president has bet on the outcome of a NHL playoff series.

Biden, a Delaware native, has been known to take in the odd Philadelphia Flyers game. But according to him, it’s first lady Jill Biden who is the real puckhead of the couple.

“I was a Flyers fan before, but then I married a Philly girl,” Biden told a Chicago fundraiser in 2010, when the Flyers met the Chicago Blackhawks with Lord Stanley’s chalice at stake. The then-vice president added: “I root fervently for the Flyers or I sleep alone. It’s not a hard call. It’s not a hard call at all.”

It’s common for mayors of the two cities involved in the Cup Final to stake their hometown’s wares on the outcome of the series, though sometimes the bets can cross over into the ridiculous (Bill de Blasio singing “I Love LA” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in 2014, anyone?).

Last year, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor won craft beer, candy apples and Texas brisket off Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson when the Lightning beat the Stars in six games to win the Cup. (Castor sent a gift basket of Cuban bread, cigars and, yes, craft beer to Dallas anyway as a “sign of good sportsmanship.”)

However, Monday is not the first time a president and prime minister have wagered on hockey. Barack Obama and then-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper bet cases of beer on the outcome of the 2010 men’s Olympic gold medal match between the US and Canada. Canada won in overtime, and Harper was duly presented with a case of Molson Canadian and a case of Yuengling.

Obama and Harper repeated their wager four years later, staking more suds on the outcome of the women’s gold medal game as well as the men’s semifinal matchup. Our neighbors to the north came out on top in both contests, and Harper received two more cases of beer, this time brewed at the White House.

Biden’s bet got off to a better start, as the heavily favored Lightning cruised past the Canadiens 5-1 on Monday night. Game 2 of the series is Wednesday.

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