Kimmo Timonen says he still hasn't completely gotten over the bitter ending of last season.
"It felt like ten months had gone down the drain. Actually, it still feels like that."
Timonen played well over a hundred games last season, including preseason, regular season, Olympics and playoffs. It was demanding physically, but possibly even more so mentally.
"It was the toughest season I've ever had. My body was pretty much broken in the end."
The summer so far has not been enough time to recover from all of that.
"My body is in a relatively good condition, but I haven't recovered mentally yet. The idea of having to jump back into a similar situation feels pretty hard right now."
Nonetheless, the Timonen family will be flying back to North America already this week.
It takes time to get over the bitter memories of last season, but because the season ended so late, the summer has been shorter than usual for Timonen. It also meant that he had a tighter schedule in the summer.
"It's been quite the hassle. I had to do so many things during the vacation in a much shorter time than usual. Time ran up too fast."
"Though I deliberately didn't start training until the beginning of July. Earlier I've started already in June, but now I didn't have any energy left to do that."
The Kime 4 Kids charity fundraising event was something that Timonen wanted to fit into his summer schedule, no matter what.
"It was a warm and successful event and we plan to keep organizing it also in the future."
Future Goals & Kalpa Stories
Coming close to winning the Stanley Cup last season has left a lot of desire to win for Timonen.
"The dream lives on. Now I know concretely what it takes to win the Cup. It's a long and bumpy road, but I want to experience that feeling. We got so close that the will to go all the way motivates a lot."
Timonen has hinted earlier that he would retire after his current contract is up in three years. There is also one personal goal that he would like to achieve before retiring.
"One of my dreams is to reach 1000 NHL games. It requires playing out my current contract."
"I go one year at a time. I'm going to respect my contract, but also listen to all parties."
Timonen says that following in his friend Sami Kapanen's foot steps to finish his career with Kalpa in Finland is not an option for him.
"My games in Finland are played. Something very special would need to happen that I would play in Finland."
When talking about Kalpa, you can't help but think how in the world did also Scott Hartnell get involved with the Finnish club. We need to hear that story, too.
"Well, that story is pretty short. I think we were in Boston, I was sitting with Scott and he was wondering what he would do with his money when it was piling up in his bank account. I told him that I have a good investment target; put your money in Kalpa! [laughs] He was just: "Absolutely! How do I do it?" So I informed Sami about it and he took care of all the paper work. So that's how Scott got on board."
Despite rumors, Timonen says he hasn't retired from the national team yet.
"After Vancouver I told [coach] Jukka [Jalonen] that I'm not retiring from the national team. We'll look at the tournaments case by case."
When the time does come to hang up the skates, Timonen thinks it's possible that he and his family will keep flying over the Atlantic.
"I could easily imagine that we would live the winters in the US and the summers in Finland after my career. The decision in the future will depend on the kids in any case. They've gone to school in the US and their friends are there, too."
This report was based off of a Finnish-language story in the publication Savon Sanomat.