Mikko Koivu’s time with the Wild has come to an end, but the veteran center isn’t done in the NHL.
Koivu signed a one-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday that reportedly will pay him around $1.5 million next season. The 37-year-old spent his first 15 seasons with the Wild and was the team’s captain for the past 11 years. Wild general manager Bill Guerin informed Koivu after the Wild were eliminated by Vancouver in the qualifying round that he would not be signed to a new contract.
Koivu had a career-low four goals and 17 assists in 55 games for the Wild last season and had no points against the Canucks in five games in the NHL’s return to play. He was demoted to the fourth line during the season and remained on that line during the postseason.
There was some thought that Koivu would retire from the NHL and, perhaps, return to his native Finland to finish his hockey career. But Koivu decided to join the team that entered the NHL with the Wild in 2000.
Koivu, the sixth-overall pick by Minnesota in the 2001 draft, became the first player in franchise history to play all 1,000 games as a member of the Wild. Koivu appeared in 1,028 games with the team, scoring 205 goals with 504 assists and 709 points. Koivu is the all-time franchise leader in games played, assists, points, plus-minus (plus-70) and shots (2,270). His best statistical season came in 2009-10 when he established career-highs with 22 goals, 49 assists and 71 points.
👋 Welcome to CBus, Mikko!
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) October 10, 2020
The Wild re-signed winger Jordan Greenway to a two-year, $4.2 million contract on Saturday. Greenway was a restricted free agent. The 23-year-old had eight goals and 28 points with 54 penalty minutes in 67 games for the Wild last season.