This just in, longtime Minnesota Wild captain and offseason Columbus Blue Jackets signing Mikko Koivu has officially announced his retirement after just seven games with his new team.
The 37 year old Koivu was not re-signed by the Wild this past offseason and signed a one year, $1.5 million contract with the Blue Jackets. He put up a goal and an assist in seven points with his new team. He put up 206 goals and 711 points in 1035 career NHL games, 1028 of which were with the Wild. His career year cam in 2009-10 when he put up a stellar 22 goals and 71 points in 80 games.
"This was not an easy decision for me as I have loved every minute of my short time in Columbus and really hoped to be able to help this team accomplish its goals this season, but the bottom line is I haven't been able to get to the level of play that I need to be true to myself and fair to my teammates, so the time is right for me to retire from hockey," said Koivu in a prepared statement. "I have been extremely blessed and I am eternally grateful to the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations for the opportunities they have given me to live out my dreams of playing in the National Hockey League for the past 16 years."
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, a longtime friend of Koivu, issued a statement through the Blue Jackets' official website as well:
"Mikko Koivu is a consummate pro and while we are disappointed that his time as a Blue Jacket was short, we understand and respect the decision he has made because it is the result of the deep respect he has for the game, our organization and his teammates," said Kekalainen. "I've known Mikko for a very long time and am proud of everything he has accomplished and how he has represented our club, the Minnesota Wild and Team Finland over the past two decades. I wish him many happy years as he transitions into the next chapter in his life."
All the best, Mikko! You should feel very proud of the career you put together.