Watch CBS News

Matthew Tkachuk celebrates Stanley Cup win with dad Keith and brother Brady

Panthers Coach Paul Maurice on the road to Stanley Cup win
Panthers Coach Paul Maurice on the road to Stanley Cup win 01:43

Matthew and Brady Tkachuk grew up playing mini stick hockey in their basement as sons of NHL player Keith Tkachuk with one dream in mind: win the Stanley Cup.

After Matthew and the Florida Panthers did so Monday night by beating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of an epic final, the on-ice celebration became a family affair for the Tkachuks, who have combined to play more the 2,300 regular-season and playoff games in the league.

"This is what we've wanted to accomplish our whole lives," said Brady Tkachuk, who is two years younger and just finished his sixth season with the Ottawa Senators. "And to see forever that there's going to be 'Tkachuk' on the Stanley Cup, it's a dream come true."

Matthew lifted the Cup over his head, asked his dad, "Are you ready?" and handed it to him. Keith played nearly 1,300 NHL games but never reached the final.

"It's not a dream anymore," Matthew said. "It's not a dream. It's reality. I can't believe it."

Tkachuk, who played with a broken sternum during the final last season when the Panthers lost to Vegas, needed his brother's help to get dressed 12 months ago. Brady called the difference between that and now night and day.

General manager Bill Zito, who made the bold move two summers ago to acquire Tkachuk from Calgary for Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar, said the feisty winger came as advertised.

"We knew," Zito said. "He's a special guy."

Tkachuk, a longtime rival of the Oilers from his days with the Flames as part of the Battle of Alberta, took the chance afterward to offer one final jab.

"Shoutout to my fans in Calgary still," Tkachuk said. "You know I couldn't let Edmonton win."

Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa's captain, is also selfishly glad about that because it keeps alive the opportunity that he ends Canada's Stanley Cup drought that is now at 31 years.

"I'm happy of course (for) Florida, for Matthew, but I want to be the next Canadian team to win," Tkachuk said, unable to describe how much hungrier this makes him to win it all. "That's something that I'm going to forever dream about and it's going to be my forever motivation for the rest of my career is I want to be the next Tkachuk and the second Tkachuk to put my name on the Cup."

Sam Reinhart will go down in history as the player who scored Florida's Cup-clinching goal, a snipe past Stuart Skinner off the rush seconds after defenseman Dmitry Kulikov cleared the puck out of the crease at the other end of the rink.

"I mean, that definitely hasn't sunk in yet — it's incredible," Reinhart said. "(Kulikov) cleared the puck out of our own crease, (Carter Verhaeghe) took it around the net, sped through the neutral zone, gave it to me, (Aleksander Barkov) and him both drove the net, made it a little easier for me to get a little tighter. Just tried to throw it on net."

The Oilers rued the sequence after the one-goal loss.

"We're an inch away from going ahead 2-1 right before they go ahead 2-1," said captain Connor McDavid, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP.

Barkov, the first Finnish captain to hoist the Cup, first handed it to goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who passed it to 36-year-old trade deadline pickup Kyle Okposo, who may be at the end of his playing career.

It then went to defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Kulikov, and Ekblad, the latter of whom was the Panthers' pick atop the 2014 draft.

"It's the best feeling in my life so far," Ekblad said. "Nothing tops it."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.