Two summers ago from his home in Helsinki, Mikko Koskinen decided that the upcoming season for SKA St. Petersburg would be his last in Russia, and that the mountain of the Kontinental Hockey League had been conquered.
He'd come to similar conclusions multiple times before during his career, like he did joining the New York Islanders for his first North American stint in 2009 as a drafted rookie, returning three years later to Europe to dominate the crease in his native Finland and the KHL, or when given the chance on more than one occasion to represent his country on the international stage.
The next big step needed to be taken.
Four years between the pipes for the renowned Russian hockey club provided the Finnish giant the platform needed for him to establish himself as one of the KHL's elite goaltenders and win two Gagarin Cups, which he holds up to this day as his greatest hockey achievements.
But an abundance of ambition, and a lack of time, was pushing him back to close the book on the one chapter of his career he hadn't fully been able to finish - the National Hockey League.