This is one of the greatest hockey press conference of all time.
Nikita Kucherov gave a legendary drunk interview after winning the 2021 Stanley Cup against the Montreal Canadiens. The Lightning took down the Habs in five games to capture their second straight championship. Kucherov was once again the playoff scoring leader.
Kucherov went to the podium shirtless and didn’t hold back when discussing a variety of topics. The Tampa Bay forward began the interview by chugging bud light.
Kucherov’s memorable press conference aired on broadcast television and went viral across social media platforms. Those versions were heavily edited, however, due to language Kucherov used. It was also shortened to better fit those platforms.
The full Kucherov press conference was almost six minutes in length and featured plenty of memorable quotes.
Here’s the transcript of Kucherov’s full press conference:
Host: From the Lightning, we have Nikita Kucherov.
Nikita Kucherov: [clapping] F**king back to back baby.
Moderator: Please raise your hand if you have a question. We’ll start with Joe Smith at the Athletic.
Kucherov: [banging hand on table] Joe let’s hear it. Let’s go.
Joe Smith: Congratulations. How would you describe your emotions right now after doing what you guys did?
Kucherov: I don’t know what to say. F**king back to back. I couldn’t sleep for three nights. To be able to win this game is huge. Vasy was outstanding. MVP. I was telling him everyday you’re MVP. You’re the best player. And they they gave it to whatever the guy in Vegas. The Vezina. And then last year they gave Vezina to someone else. Number one bullsh*t bro. Number one bullsh*t. Vasy took both Cups [sniffles]. You know he took MVP and I was keep telling him he’s MVP. He’s the guy that f**king…he’s the best. He was on his head today and he kept us in the game. Another shutout by him. Remarkable. Can’t even tell more.
Kucherov: I’m so happy. I didn’t want to go back to Montreal. But the fans in Montreal acted like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Their final was last series.
Moderator: John Romano, Tampa Bay Times.
Kucherov: Was that long enough answer? I took the time. Hey I kept it all whole year on my inside.
John Romano: Nikita can you just talk about the journey that you guys have been on? There’s so many of these guys that have been together seven, eight, nine, 10 years. What’s it like to celebrate with guys you’ve grown up with?
Kucherov: What did you say? Buy a new microphone. It’s bullsh*t.
Moderator: Go ahead John, repeat the question.
John Romano: I was just wondering what it was like to celebrate with guys you’ve been teammates with for so long?
Kucherov: Ah, that’s what you want. Okay It’s huge. Stammer, Heddy, Pally. Those guys are outstanding players…
*Press conference gets interrupted by someone bringing a bottle to Kucherov*
Kucherov: That’s bud light you know. That’s not champagne. That’s number one bullsh*t again.
Kucherov: Those guys..I’ve been involved with those guys. Some ups and downs. I said one time you give us one time to win, we’re going to win twice. And that’s what happened. I’m really happy for those guys. With Stammer coming back and play the whole year. Be able to play in the playoff. He was outstanding out there. He was a real captain. He was so vocal in the room. You guys don’t even know. He was amazing. I love Stammer. He’s one of the best. He’s so funny too. He says something and I’m laughing. It’s not even funny but I’m laughing. He’s funny to me. He’s got good sense of humor and he keeps the guys…everybody wants to push themselves. And Heddy’s the same way. I’m really happy for those guys. And I’m really happy for to be part of whatever we went through. We win back to back. Come on.
Moderator: Dan Rosen, NHL.com.
Dan Rosen: Nikita, when you tell Andrei he’s the best, what is his response? What does he say and what does he tell you when you keep telling him he’s the best?
Kucherov: He’s very humble guy. He says a bunch of whatever. Like ‘stop it, don’t say that’. He doesn’t want people near people him say he’s the best. He wants to prove me he’s the best, but I know he’s the best. He want to prove me, but I’m like ‘Vasi you proved me a f**king long time ago’. ‘When I was 15 you proved it to me’. I was like no question he’s the best. He’s gonna be the best wherever he’s gonna make it to the NHL. He’s very humble and he keeps working even though he gets robbed every year by the NHL not getting the Vezina, he’s still humble and works hard. If he would play in a different market, he’d take this Vezina year after year. He would beat all the records whatever blah blah blah. He’s the best. But he’s very humble.
Moderator: Last question, Ed Encina, Tampa Bay Times.
Ed Encina: Nikita, after doing this in the bubble. 65 days in the bubble last year. How special was it to do it on home ice with your family and friends and to enjoy that whole atmosphere at the end?
*Kucherov finishes beer and slides empty bud light can across table*
Kucherov: Well, uh it’s a lot of questions too today eh? Come on. I’m used to two questions. Today is what like five? F**king making record.
Kucherov: It was definitely special to see everybody. We had a full crowd today didn’t we? Did we? Unbelievable. They were so loud. They were unbelievable. To win in front of them is so special. Everybody is gonna remember for the rest of their lives this moment. Come on. Ours fans is the best. I don’t know what to say. It was special.
Moderator: Thanks Nikita.