NASHVILLE – Fourteen months ago, Jake Guentzel’s mother, Sally, didn’t think it was a good idea for her boy to forgo his senior year at Nebraska Omaha.
“I just said, ‘You know honey, he made the right choice,’ ” Jake’s dad, Mike Guentzel — the Gophers men’s hockey associate head coach — said as he watched his son celebrate a Stanley Cup championship as a 22-year-old Pittsburgh rookie Thursday. “This has been a remarkable year. He played well and to win a Stanley Cup, it doesn’t get any better than that. Mr. Kessel [Phil’s dad] told me not to expect this every year.”
Jake Guentzel became the first rookie in NHL history to lead the postseason in goals (13). He came within one of matching Dino Ciccarelli’s rookie NHL record with the 1981 North Stars, but did become the top goal-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history. He also tied Ciccarelli and Ville Leino for the most postseason points by an NHL rookie (21).
“Just to see my family, it’s special,” said Guentzel, gazing at his parents and brothers, Ryan and Gabe. “They’re just so proud of me. To hear that and all they’ve done for me, it means the world. Dream come true. You think about this moment your whole life. It’s pretty crazy.”
Guentzel said when Patric Hornqvist scored the winning goal, “I think I jumped through the roof when he scored.”
A popular cookie
So popular, the bakers at Dorothy Ann Bakery & Café in Woodbury can’t make enough of the Jake Guentzel specialty cookie.
Guentzel grew up in St. Paul’s eastern suburb and developed in part by playing shinny on Colby Lake. So bakery owner Joan Conway and her daughter, Colleen, came up with the idea of a Guentzel cookie, which is a replica of his No. 59 yellow Penguins jersey. They sell for $2.50 apiece.
“We’ve sold out of them at times and have had to bake pans and pans of them already,” said Megan Cover, a cupcake, cake and cookie decorator at the bakery. “We’ve sold them all playoffs, and people buy them for parties, sometimes 25 at a time. They’ve been a hit.”
Guentzel smiled brightly when asked about the “Jake Guentzel cookie.”
“I’ve seen that,” he said, laughing. “It’s kind of funny. I bet it tastes great. I haven’t had the cookie yet, but I can’t wait.”
In fact, Cover said, “the Guentzels come in here all the time.”
Mike Guentzel said Sally brought a bunch of Jake Guentzel cookies home.
“I’m afraid to eat them until the season is over,” Mike said before Sunday’s game.
• The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association filed a grievance with the NHL against the Predators for keeping defenseman P.K. Subban from talking for a third straight media availability Sunday morning. The theory is he had been muzzled since his invented claim that Sidney Crosby accused him of bad breath.
• The Wild has until 4 p.m. Monday if it plans to ask Jason Pominville to waive his no-move clause for the purposes of expansion. If the Wild makes that request, he would have until 4 p.m. Friday to agree to be exposed to Vegas or decline and be protected.