PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Kimmo Timonen is 40-years-old. The veteran defenseman just finished his remarkable 16th and final NHL season.
But for the first time in his illustrious career, it ends as a champion, as Timonen’s Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night.
“I leave this game as a Stanley Cup champion,” Timonen said. “And I can’t ask for anything more than that.”
When Patrick Kane scored an insurance goal for the Blackhawks late in the third period, Timonen could not hold back the tears.
“I was crying a little bit,” Timonen said. “There were tears coming out of my eyes because I knew that it was going to be—two goals against this team, it was going to be hard to score. I knew we had a really good chance to win it.”
In celebration, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews handed Timonen the Stanley Cup trophy first. After fighting his way back from severe blood clots, Timonen’s dream had finally come true.
“It’s been a long journey. I can tell you that,” said Timonen, who spent seven excellent seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers before being traded to Chicago this past March. “Last August, I didn’t know if I could play anymore, but my desire was so deep inside that I wanted to give it one more shot.”
Timonen celebrated his championship with his family, his wife Johanna and his three kids. It was his moment.
“This was the dream,” Timonen said. “Every time we talked about my coming back, this was the dream.”