The Minnesota Wild has made yet another controversial decision on Friday, announcing that the team will not re-sign Mikko Koivu for the upcoming season.
General manager Bill Guerin made a statement on the club’s decision with many fans reacting strongly to losing their beloved captain.
“Mikko Koivu was a true leader both on and off the ice during his 15-year career with the Wild. From being drafted sixth overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, making his NHL debut on Nov. 11, 2005, being named the team’s first full-time captain on Oct. 20, 2009 and wearing the ‘C’ for the last 11 seasons to becoming the first player to play all 1,000 NHL games with Minnesota on Dec. 1, 2019, Mikko’s legacy will live on forever in our organization.
His hard work, dedication and team-first mentality will be extremely difficult to replace in our lineup. Off the ice, Mikko’s impact in the State of Hockey was immeasurable as he went out of his way to make a positive impact on so many people in our community, including his charitable contributions to Children’s Minnesota.
We thank Mikko for everything he has done for our organization and wish him and his family the best in the future.”
Koivu has spent his entire career with the Wild since being drafted sixth overall in 2001. The 37-year-old forward has tallied 205 goals and 709 points in 1,028 career games with the team. He ranks first in Wild franchise history in games played, assists and points.
In 2019-20, he posted four goals and 21 points in 55 games and was without a point in four games during the NHL’s Return to Play.
He is coming off of a two-year, $11 million contract signed with the Wild in 2017 and might have been hoping to return to the club before hanging up the skates.
Guerin has been quite active on the trade market in the past week, acquiring Nick Bjugstad from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange of a conditional pick. He however acquired left wing Marcus Johansson from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for center Eric Staal.
A lot happening in Minny lately!