Woodbury hockey product Jake Guentzel, the Pittsburgh Penguins rookie who helped his team win the NHL championship last month, brings the Stanley Cup to his hometown this week.
Guentzel, who became the first rookie in NHL history to lead the postseason in goals (13), will accompany the Cup to the Health East Sports Center’s ice arena on Thursday.
Guentzel and the Cup will be there from 1 to 3 p.m., but fans are being advised to arrive well ahead of time for the best shot at seeing and taking pictures with the Cup.
The former star at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood and then in college at Nebraska Omaha is among the Penguins players, coaches and staff who each take a turn with the Cup as it travels across North America and the world on its annual offseason odyssey.
While cherished, the Cup does go through some abuse as it gets passed around. It has been used as a cereal bowl and an ice cream dish, been hauled to the top of a mountain and taken a dive into a swimming pool.
Another Minnesotan and Penguins skater, Matt Cullen, also gets his day with the Cup. The longtime NHLer is bringing the prized trophy to Moorhead on Aug. 31. Plans for the Cup’s time in Moorhead have yet to be locked in. This is Cullen’s third Stanley Cup title.
The Penguins locked up the title in six games, defeating the Nashville Predators.