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Wild Make Public Announcement They Will Not Re-Sign Koivu

The Minnesota Wild have publicly announced that they will not be re-signing captain Mikko Koivu.

Koivu Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild have publicly announced that they will not be re-signing captain Mikko Koivu. On paper, the decision makes sense for the team, but there’s no way this was an easy choice for an organization that owes a great deal to a well-respected veteran.

Koivu is a pending unrestricted free agent and he’ll now need to decide if he stays in the NHL and joins another team, if he retires, or if he heads overseas to play.

In the press release issued by GM Bill Guerin the team said:

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.

This couldn’t have been an easy decision for the Wild. That said, Koivu’s career-low of just four goals and 21 points this season, in combination with the fact that the salary cap is flat this season, made it so that the Wild and Guerin had to make a painful and emotional choice.

Related: Alex Galchenyuk Unlikely to Return to Wild

This is the end of an era. Koivu is one of the most respected players in the NHL and has been for the past several years. He was the team leader in a number of categories, the team captain for the last 11 seasons and is the franchise leader in games played (1,028), assists (504), points (709), plus/minus (+70), power-play points (251), shorthanded points (25) & shots (2,270).

Where Koivu winds up next (should he decide to keep playing) will be a story this summer. Will he go to a team he believes has a good chance to win? Will he try and help a group that has young players? Maybe he’ll go where he has the most chance of playing a bigger role?

Mikko Koivu Wild
Mikko Koivu Wild

The Wild Have Been Busy

This announcement comes on the heels of a number of other deals by the organization. In the past few days, the club has traded Eric Staal, acquired for Marcus Johansson, added Nick Bjugstad and decided to let Koivu and Alex Galchenyuk go. There are also rumors surrounding Matt Dumba and Devan Dubnyk and it doesn’t sound like the Wild are done. 

Next: Coyotes Give GMs Green Light on Multiple Trade Offers [Report]

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