Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has pulled out of Monday's scheduled visit to the White House in celebration of the team's 2018 Stanley Cup championship.
Holtby is the most high-profile member of the team to decline the invitation.
"It's one of those things you have to think about, but for me, I have to stay true to my values. I'm going to respectfully decline the offer," Holtby said.
"It's a tough situation for everyone, to be forced into making a decision. You're a team. You want to stick together, no matter what. I hope everyone kind of blows it away -- that you don't worry about who goes and who doesn't. For me, it's just a personal thing. I believe in what I believe in. In order to stick to those values, I have to do what I think is right, but that doesn't make a difference in anyone else's decision. We stick by every teammate and their decision."
Holtby was the goalie for all 16 wins in the Capitals' playoff run, leading the NHL postseason with a 2.16 goals-against average.