Lasse Kukkonen, 38, ends his long and successful hockey career. Kukkonen spoke about his decision to close at a press conference organized by Kärppi on Monday.
In addition to Kukkonen, e.g. Tommi Virkkunen, CEO of Oulun Kärpät Oy, Harri Aho, CEO of Sports, and the team's coaching team as a whole.
- Last winter, around the turn of the year, I started to think a little more about my own sequel. It clearly came to mind in the spring that this is a good decision to make. Now there is peace of mind with your own career, Kukkonen said at the beginning of the press conference.
- This ended a little differently than I had dreamed and imagined. That’s why I wanted to take a moment after the season to wait and see if the mind changes, but now it’s good to stop and aim for new challenges.
After Kukkonen, the other speakers were present, in whose speech Kukkonen's significance for Kärpi became palpable.
- The leadership that was so innate and innate was exceptional for the young player. In 20 years, he has come to know how awesome team player Lasse is. He always made his teammates better. The last seven years were a wonderfully historic and successful time for the club. Lasse was a very big piece of that success story, sports director Aho summed up Kukkonen's significance.
The flies bred has represented the Oulu club throughout its Finnish Championship league career. He has celebrated the Finnish championship in the Fly Shirt on four occasions, in 2005, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
Behind Rapako, Kukkonen left for the first time in 2003. In the NHL, he played a total of 159 matches in the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers over four seasons.
Sidney Crosby will experience Kukkonen's toughness in the NHL playoffs in the spring of 2008.
Photo: Jim Young / REUTERS
Kukkonen's national team career statistics are handsome to read. The trusted defender has celebrated the Olympic medal on three occasions: silver in Turin in 2006 and bronze in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.
However, the crown of the national team career came in 2011 in Bratislava, where Finland won the second world championship in its history. In addition to the gold medal, Kukkonen also has two World Championship silver and one bronze in his prize cabinet.
Kukkonen in the middle of the championship drug in Bratislava in the spring of 2011.
Photo: Mika Ranta / HS
In 2013, after three seasons at KHL, Kukkonen returned to the Ranks of the Fly, where he played for the last seven seasons of his career, six of them as team captains.
Kukkonen celebrated his last Finnish championship in the spring of 2018.
Photo: Vesa Koivunen
Born: September 18, 1981 in Oulu (age 38 years)
Achievements: Three Olympic medals (Silver from Turin 2006, bronze from Vancouver 2010 and Shotsh from 2014). World Championship 2011, World Championship silver 2007 and 2016, World Championship bronze. Four Finnish championships.
Matches: 651 matches in the SM League, 159 matches in the NHL.