Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: saku koivu
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed center Saku Koivu to a one-year contract extension through the 2012-13 NHL season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
Koivu, 37 (11/23/74), appeared in his third season with Anaheim in 2011-12, scoring 11-27=38 points with a +7 rating and 50 penalty minutes (PIM) in 74 contests. He co-led the team in takeaways (35), ranked second in shifts-per-game (24.5), tied for second in plus/minus and third in assists. The 5-10, 180-pound center led the club in faceoff wins (646) and faceoff percentage (52.4), while ranking fourth among team forwards in time-on-ice (18:07).
added 9:40pm, Elliotte Friedman did his Inside Hockey segment with Kovu tonight.
You can watch that below…
“It’s not going to be [just] another game. It’s obviously going to be a special couple days in the weekend. When the season started it was far away, end of January, it felt like I had all kinds of time for that, but now it’s [here].
“Obviously I think about it and I’m getting nervous about it, but it’s going to be a fun one - the game and the weekend and obviously going to see a lot of friends that are close to me.”
-Saku Koivu of the Anaheim Ducks on his return to Montreal (Saturday). More from Chris Iorfida of CBC.
As usual lately, I’m a day behind. And, really, this time, I have no excuses. (Well, I do, but I won’t bother…) So, why make sure I catch up on JJ’s Three Cheers, you might ask? (I said might, cause it’s just as likely that you won’t.) The goal from the start with this should-be daily feature of mine was to keep a running tally of those honored and to salute the top three (or more) at season’s end. With a thousand other things in the hopper, so far as content from me is concerned (most of which are waiting on a few loose ends to be tied up), I’ll probably be pulling double-duty on these little recaps for much of the season as the workload increases. That said, the need to rewind and reward those on days missed remains. After all, this is an awfully prestigious honor! (Ahem…)
From Saturday night first:
***Cheers to Carolina captain Eric Staal, who powered his Hurricanes past division rival Florida with a pair of goals in a 3-2 victory.
**Cheers to Colorado’s Peter Budaj, who backstopped the Avalanche with 31 saves as his club put up plenty of offense in front of him, beating Dallas 5-0 at home.
*And big time cheers to Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, who had a four-point night at the expense of the host Thrashers in Atlanta and also tallied in the shootout as the Blackhawks were victorious, 5-4.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: eric+staal, jonathan+toews, mike+green, peter+budaj, saku+koivu, ty+conklin
If there was ever a National team program historically greater than the sum of its parts, it would be Team Finland. Despite not having the offensive depth of many of their Elite Seven rivals, the Finnish National Team has repeatedly fared well in recent international best-on-best competition. After enduring many decades of lopsided defeats internationally at the hands of Canada, the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and longtime nemesis Sweden, the Finnish hockey program made great strides in the 1990’s, culminating with a World Championship in 1995. In addition, Finland has won more Olympic Hockey medals (1 silver, 2 bronze), than any other nation, since the introduction of NHL players to the Games in 1998.
Finland’s success can be attributed to a strong emphasis on teamwork and the fact that unlike their European rivals, hockey is indisputably the number one sport in their homeland, which has led to the implementation of adequately funded development programs and a strong domestic league in SM-liiga. More than any other European team, Finland employs a fast skating, tight forechecking, North American style of play, augmented by strong defensive zone coverage and consistently elite goaltending. The rinks in Finland have been adjusted to enhance the tight forechecking style of play, by adopting a size that is halfway between the dimensions of NHL and IIHF standards. Furthermore, in an effort to aid the National Team’s development programs, numerous goaltending schools have been created, and often led, by the country’s top puck stoppers. This has led to the emergence of many elite young goalies in the NHL, such as Tuukka Rask, Pekke Rinne, Antti Niemi and perhaps Kari Lehtonen, if he can find health and consistency in a Dallas Stars uniform.
Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: antti+niemi, dallas+stars, espoo+blues, iihf, jere+lehtinen, kari+lehtonen, mikko+koivu, olli+jokinen, olympic+hockey, pekke+rinne, saku+koivu, sm-liiga, teemu+selanne, tuomo+ruutu, tuukka+rask
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
One aspect of life that was completely different for Koivu last year was the anonymity he enjoyed in Orange County. Suffice to say, it was a 180-degree change from Montreal, where he was the team captain the previous 10 years and was recognized and hounded everywhere he went.
“It was a really refreshing feeling last year,” Koivu said. “Montreal is a special place, but you can’t go anywhere, can’t hide from hockey or the fans. Last year, it felt good going with the wife and kids to the beach or to a restaurant and just being a regular guy, nobody knowing who you are and what you do.”
Not having the responsibilities of team captain also was different last year, a welcome respite for Koivu in the midst of so much change. But that also could be temporary.
With the retirement of captain Scott Niedermayer, Koivu is an obvious candidate to wear the “C” in Anaheim this season, as are Finnish countryman Teemu Selanne and emerging superstar Ryan Getzlaf. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle says he will make that call, with input from his coaching staff and General Manager Bob Murray.
Carlyle said Monday he has written down some names of potential captains but wants to make sure his choice is committed to the responsibilities of the position.
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,
On why he chose the Ducks on the first day of free agency and whether he considered other teams:
“The negotiations went on for a couple of days there. and then it took a bit longer than I guess we expected. And then we got closer to the free agency line there. We decided that we wanted to kind of see what the market is all about. We did get some offers. I don’t want to get into details about that….
On what he sees from the Ducks going forward:
“If we go back at what happened last year, obviously we all know that the reason that we didn’t make the playoffs was the first 20, 25 games and the way we played. We had a lot of new faces and for a lot of guys, it took longer for the adjustment period than we expected. But if you look at the second half and how well we played … obviously losing Scott [Niedermayer] is a huge hit
from an Anaheim Duckx tweet,
Ducks sign Saku Koivu to two-year contract.
from Curtis Zupke of the OC Register,
The Ducks have lost a star Finnish player to injury for the second time in as many days.
Center Saku Koivu suffered a sprained knee Thursday night, the team said late Friday. A timetable for his return was not immediately known, but recovery from a sprained knee can typically take 2-6 weeks, depending on the severity….
A suspension appears unlikely for Bobby Ryan for his hit on Kings forward Oscar Moller late in Thursday’s game.
Ryan did not have a disciplinary hearing with NHL officials Friday morning. Such hearings usually take place if a player is going to be suspended, but the league is not believed to be reviewing the play.
more on the Ducks…
update 10:42pm, I just received an update on Koivu from the Ducks which states he will be out approximately 1-2 weeks.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The he NHL’s schedule maker occasionally shows a keen sense of timing – and nowhere is that more evident than in the first full week of the 2009-10 regular season.
We get to see Koivu v. Koivu right off the top and the chance to revisit the decision made by the former Montreal Canadiens captain to seek his fortune in sunny California….
Even with a game against younger brother Mikko’s Minnesota Wild next up on the schedule, Koivu’s inquisitors amounted to exactly two reporters. It is just one of the many culture changes for the 34-year-old, who was told by the Canadiens last June that after nine years as team captain, they were going down a different path.
Koivu pondered the Wild as an option, but ultimately chose to join old friend and Finnish countryman Teemu Selanne with the Ducks – about as radical a move as possible within the geography and culture of the NHL. Even though they’ve played together on national teams in the past, it so far hasn’t exactly been a match made in hockey heaven.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
“It felt a little odd the first time I put it on before the game. I was pretty nervous even though this was just a preseason game,” said the Finnish center, who signed with the Ducks as a free agent in July. “It’s a new situation for me after 13 years in Montreal and a different feeling.
“I’m glad the first one is over with and hopefully it’s going to be easier for me from here on and I’ll be more relaxed.”...
“It was more physical than in the East. Maybe that’s something that I have to get used to a bit more here in the West,” Koivu said.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Had this been Montreal, where he spent 13 seasons and united a sometimes-fractured city in admiration of his victory over non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the stands would have been jammed with reporters and photographers interested in the million issues that percolate around the Canadiens.
Instead, Koivu had 90 minutes of blissful privacy to meet teammates and start settling in as the Ducks’ second-line center, a process that will continue today when training camp begins at Anaheim Ice.
“It is different, there’s no doubt,” he said, smiling. “Like today here it felt good. You can just be among your teammates and have fun and practice hard but it’s more of a tighter feeling than it was in Montreal.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“It was an interesting choice,” said Koivu. “We spoke to Minnesota a few times. All the talks went well, but it was more for personal reasons that I didn’t feel comfortable ... I felt that Minnesota was Mikko’s place at this point. I wanted him to have his own privacy in a way, make his own name and his own career. I just felt there were too many risks for us as brothers and as family members to join the same team and compete for the same ice time. I felt we were better off playing somewhere else.”
more from Koivu plus Zubov is up to a new challenge and has talked to 6-7 teams…
via Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,
The Ducks are set to announce shortly the signing of unrestricted free-agent center Saku Koivu to a one-year, $3.25 million contract.
added 1:57pm, ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed center Saku Koivu to a one-year contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
“Saku Koivu’s character and leadership qualities are unquestioned,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “He is a skilled playmaker and we are thrilled to add him to our team.”
added 2:45pm, Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants on Saku,
If somebody doesn’t want to play here, he doesn’t; there’s no use chasing your own tail and throwing money and term if there are other factors at play. He could’ve gotten a better deal in Minny — sources say the deal would have been in the $4 million annual range on a two-year deal, in the $3-million-plus range on a three-year deal.
As I warned you before last weekend, the Wild started to get the impression things were heading south with negotiations with Koivu. To me, this contract with Anaheim shows two things — 1) he wants to play with buddy Teemu Selanne and only signed for one year because Selanne claims this time he will really retire in one year; 2) there were serious concerns amongst the Koivu Bros. about playing together.
more on what the Wild do now…
from Habs Inside/Out,
Canadiens fan Megan Martin, a Concordia University journalism student who is interning this summer as a City reporter at The Gazette, shares her thoughts at the departure of Canadiens captain Saku Koivu:
The state of team loyalty in sports is a far cry from the Canadiens’ glory days. But when a captain like Saku Koivu heads elsewhere, even my 92-year-old grandmother has a heavy heart.
Koivu’s reach as a member of the community extended far beyond those who bleed bleu, blanc et rouge.
Habs fan or not, the sense of loss that comes with Koivu’s departure is hard to swallow.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
The team continues to be patient as free-agent center Saku Koivu takes his time deciding where he will sign. It’s not looking good with Minnesota, and it doesn’t appear to be so much about money as a concern about playing with his brother, Mikko.
“We’ve put a lot of conversations and time into it,” GM Chuck Fletcher said. “Whatever decision he makes, I’m sure they’ll be for good reasons.”
If Saku Koivu doesn’t sign and Fletcher can’t make a trade, coach Todd Richards believes Pierre-Marc “Bouchard can be that guy” at No. 2 center.
more Wild talk…
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
Last night, the Wild thought Saku Koivu would be signed, sealed and delivered by this morning.
Now, it appears as if it’s going nowhere, according to sources.
Agent Don Baizley said no decision is imminent and he’d reserve comment until “the situation is resolved.”
Koivu is expected to take some time and weigh his options, but he’s got a bunch of scenarios and many teams coming at him hard, and like I said, it appears the deal with the Wild is going south.
New Jersey is one team hot after Koivu, as well as the New York Rangers, who now that they traded Scott Gomez, really doesn’t have a center to get the puck to Marian Gaborik. Anaheim likes him, too.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
I have been told by impeccable sources that Havlat has cut his list to one team — and that’s Minnesota.
According to sources, the Wild also continues to be in negotiations with free-agent center Saku Koivu, although it’s unclear how close that is. Because of the time in Finland, it could go into tomorrow.
added 10:25pm, via Darren Dreger’s Twitter,
Havlat has a verbal agreement with the Wild.
added 10:26pm, TSN link...paper work not completed, but deal in place….
added:11:07pm, Sportsnet Tracker has Havlat signed 6yrs., $30M.
added 11:16pm, from Matin Havlat’s Twitter,
Excited to be in Minny where I was welcomed and appreciated by management. The real story about what happened in Chicago to come out.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
The Wild’s expected to make an offer, but it’s not just a sure-thing Saku Koivu signs a deal to play with Mikko.
I talked to Mikko very early this morning my time. I got him on his boat in Turku. He did voice some concerns that he and Saku have been discussing in recent days. Saku doesn’t want to step on Mikko’s toes because this is his team now, they’ve talked about what it would be like to handle the other being criticized publicly if that were to happen and they talked about the distractions it could create if every city they went to turned into a series of Koivu Bros. stories.
He admitted it’s not a big problem and that they know that stuff would die down, but those are a few of the “cons” on their pros and cons list. On the “pros” side, the fact that it would be special for Saku, 8 1/2 years older, and Mikko to play together and that their parents would absolutely love it. He said it’s a “dream” of theirs.
from Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
RDS has interviewed Guy Lafleur, again, and this time, the Habs legend let it be known he thinks the time has come for Saku Koivu to leave the Canadiens family.
Lafleur said it’s time for the Canadiens captain to go play with his brother in Minnesota. He also said that when Réjean Houle was the team’s general manager, he suggested to Houle that he should get rid of Koivu.
And he didn’t stop there. Lafleur, who never minces his words, also weighed in on the rumours that Alex Kovalev had been offered a new contract and the captaincy.
A Russian sports newspaper reports that the Montreal Canadiens have offered the team’s captaincy to pending unrestricted free agent Alex Kovalev and that Saku Koivu is no longer in plans for the team.
According to Sovietsky Sport, the Canadiens don’t intend to re-sign Koivu and would opt to re-sign Kovalev to a one-year deal worth between $6 million and $7.5 million. The story also claims that Kovalev would be awarded the captaincy.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Saku Koivu said it would be “awesome” if he finished his National Hockey League career in Montreal, but there are no guarantees that’s going to happen….
Koivu said if his vision of the future meshed with that of the team, he expected to have a deal, ideally for two of three seasons, before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He added that if there’s no deal before the deadline, he will probably be playing elsewhere next season.
When Koivu was asked if joining his younger brother, Mikko, in Minnesota was an option, he said: “It would be amazing in one way to play with him on the same team. But on the other hand, he’s at the point where he has his own career. He’s making a name for himself and in some ways, it’s easier for him and I’d like to keep it that way. But it’s tempting to think about playing on the same NHL team with him and having some success.”
via Habs Inside/Out,
Captain Saku Koivu, who has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain since early December, will return to the Canadiens lineup for tonight’s game against the Devils in New Jersey.
Coach Guy Carbonneau confirmed Koivu’s return but said he hadn’t decided which player would sit. The choice is between veteran Steve Bégin or rookie Gregory Stewart.
New York (December 2, 2008) – Responding to the daunting challenge issued by the devoted fans of the Montreal Canadiens, the citizens of Pittsburgh and Penguins fans around the world are proving just how passionate they are about their heroes.
Pens forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the top two scorers in the NHL, have closed the gap considerably on the front-running Montreal threesome of Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay in fan balloting to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25.
As of 7 a.m. ET today, Crosby had received 320,373 votes in XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. With polls still open for another month, that moved Crosby within 65,000 votes of claiming one of the three starting spots up front for the Eastern Conference.
Sibling rivalry will be taken to a new level Thursday night when Saku and Mikko Koivu face off against each another in Minnesota.
The game will mark the first time in NHL history that two brothers will clash as captains — Saku is the long-time captain of the Canadiens, while Mikko was given the “C” by the Minnesota Wild before this season.
‘‘I was questioned a lot when I signed (my contract) two years ago about why I did it and why I stayed. I said that I’ve seen the ups in the mid-nineties when we had a good team, but the late nineties wasn’t a lot of fun.
‘‘The reason why I stayed was because I saw the potential and the fun that is possible here, and I want to be here if the team wins the Stanley Cup in the next couple of years.’‘
—Saku Koivu of the Montreal Canadiens, speaking about his hopes for this season at the opening of training cap Friday. Koivu is entering his 10th season as captain of the team.
From Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out,
RDS reported that Saku Koivu was trying to persuade Teemu Selanne to join the Canadiens.
I’ll believe it when I see the Finnish Flash at training camp – which, for Selanne, begins in February.
For more rumors, Spector’s got the latest on Jeff Carter, Patrick Marleau, Bobby Holik, Radim Vrbata and others.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
There is a possibility that the Montreal Canadiens could have captain Saku Koivu back in the lineup on Saturday.
How strong the possibility is will be determined after the morning skate, prior to the sixth game of the first-round series Saturday.
Koivu has missed the past three weeks with a fractured bone in his left foot. But he skated for the third day in a row and will determine whether he is fit after skating with his teammates in the morning.
“He skated today and he felt better,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “He pushed it a little harder. He’ll skate again tomorrow and then see.”
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Saku Koivu is optimistic his fractured left foot will heal enough to let him start the playoffs but the Montreal Canadiens captain said Saturday nothing is certain.
“What’s going to happen in the future, for the first game, we’ll see next week,” Koivu said. “Every day it feels better, but there’s not much we can tell.
“We’ll know a lot more in the next couple of days.”
continued… with more on other injured Habs
The Montreal Canadiens are going into the playoffs with plenty of question marks as captain Saku Koivu is out for the regular season with a fractured bone in his left foot.
Koivu was seen was using crutches and a foot brace as he left the Bell Centre on Monday. The 12-year NHL veteran told reporters that more tests would be done later this week and he would discuss more details of his injury at that time….
The team got some better news on Monday as they learned that defenceman Mark Streit showed improvement over the weekend and should play on Tuesday in Ottawa.
via Habs Inside/Out,
An update on the health of Canadiens captain Saku Koivu from The Gazette’s Pat Hickey:
Koivu is not playing tonight, having taken a shot off the foot last night in Buffalo. X-rays have not yet been taken, but are expected to be done tomorrow back in Montreal. Koivu says there’s a possibility he’s suffered a break, but he won’t know until tests are done.
Habs assistant coach Kirk Muller was on the HNIC pre-game show and mentioned Saku had gone back to Montreal today and did say they had no update on the injury.
P.J. Stock during the HNIC pre-game also mentioned the talk is Koivu does have a broken foot, but nothing official yet.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Gainey is also believed not to be adverse to trading team captain Saku Koivu, who has only 12 goals this season, is a minus player and could probably use a change of scenery. But Koivu is four years older than Jokinen and far less productive, so Gainey would have to enhance the offer.
Perhaps a package of Koivu, Jaroslav Halak, a first-round pick and a prospect would be enough. Gainey could also include Alexander Perezhogin, who is having a fine season in Russia this year, but whose contract rights are still owned by the Canadiens.
more and some Richards talk too…
from the CP via TSN,
A day after taking heat for not speaking French, Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu spoke a few words in a pre-recorded feature shown before a game Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
A surprised crowd cheered as Koivu said ‘‘ici Saku Koivu, voici mon equipe’’ (Saku Koivu here, this is my team) before reading out the Canadiens lineup in a mix of English and French on the video scoreboard.
from The National Post,
An unlikely name popped up Tuesday at provincial public hearings looking into reasonable accommodation for religious minorities in Quebec: Saku Koivu.
Lawyer Guy Bertrand, a separatist-turned-federalist-turned-separatist-again, dropped the gloves about the Montreal Canadiens’ captain’s lack of fluency in French.
Bertrand was critical of the Finnish-born Koivu’s failure “to respect the right of Quebecers to be served in French.”
Updated 6:46pm ET:
From TSN, a response from Koivu,
“I’m not perfect,” he told a scrum of reporters at the Bell Centre. “There’s nothing we can do when politicians have opinions on the team or on me Sometimes you can’t control what’s being said out there.”
From Shi Davidi of the CP via Yahoo,
Unlike Blake, who will be able to play while treating his chronic myelogenous leukemia, Koivu wasn’t sure he’d survive his treatment, let alone return to play, and the experience still scars him.
“Every time you hear the word cancer or see someone who is going through it, it brings back the memories, it’s part of me right now,” Koivu said Tuesday in Montreal. “There’s some positive things I took from that experience but there’s also a lot of negative things as well.
“It’s there, but it gets easier the more time you get away from the whole thing.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
...That’s what Koivu was saying, but something may have been lost in the translation en route to the La Presse presses, because what appeared in the newspaper was: “We’ll make the playoffs this season, but don’t expect us to win the Stanley Cup.”
“I guess there’s a difference,” Koivu told me. “English isn’t my first language, but I don’t see it as a big difference. What I meant was you make the playoffs and from there, everything is open. If you ask any experts, nobody is picking us to even make the playoffs!”
“Which experts?” he was asked.
“Experts,” he said with a grin, adding: “I don’t know what word I used. Maybe the reporter misunderstood. He
didn’t ask me: ‘Is this what you mean?’