President Barack Obama was asked on the Tonight Show on Wednesday if he could "pull some strings" to end the NHL lockout, and he pulled no punches.

The question was submitted by a viewer and was met with much laughter from the studio audience, but Obama insisted: "I do have a comment on this.

"Every time these things happen I just want to remind the owners and players: You guys make money because you've got a whole bunch of fans out there who are working really hard — they buy tickets, they're watching on TV.

"Y'all should be able to figure this out. Get this done."

Obama gave a similar answer almost exactly one year ago on the same stage when asked by host Jay Leno about the NBA work stoppage. The league and its players' association would eventually come to an agreement, resulting in a 66-game regular season in 2011-12, 16 fewer than the norm.

Obama, who has famously been said to wind down his nights with sports highlights, was also asked for a World Series prediction.

Taking another opportunity to highlight rival Mitt Romney's opposition to the auto bailout that he favoured, Obama responded: "I will say that I spent a lot of time in Detroit lately. And I didn’t want to let Detroit go bankrupt. [So] in this particular World Series, I may be a little partial."

The interview was taped before Game 1, won in convincing fashion by San Francisco.