Well it’s been a tumultuous week in world of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic theorized on TSN 690 this morning that head coach John Tortorella might want out of Columbus, as the reason for why he benched Patrik Laine last night for the entire third period.
And now a surprise retirement that hits close to home for us Wild fans.
Mikko Koivu, the Wild’s all-time points leader and captain for more than a decade, has decided to hang up his skates after a handful of games in Columbus.
After 15 seasons with Minnesota, the Wild informed Koivu that they planned to move on from him this past off-season, ushering in a changing of the guard led by the likes of Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala.
Koivu eventually signed a 1-year, $1,500,000 deal with the Blue Jackets, as they tried to shore-up their center depth with one of the leagues premier defensive pivots. Koivu, through seven games this year, had one goal and one assist and was averaging 12:28 of ice time.
Needless to say, his sudden retirement comes as a shock to most.
Koivu leaves the NHL as the Minnesota Wild’s leader in points (709), assists (504) and games played (1,208). He also holds 2nd place for franchise goals (205), behind only Marian Gaborik. He became the first player to skate in 1,000 regular-season games for Minnesota on Dec. 1, 2019.
Koivu meant the world to this franchise and helped define the defensively-responsible style that characterized their play throughout his time here.
We will no doubt remember him for a long time as a member of this team.