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Former Wild captain Mikko Koivu hasn't decided whether to keep playing

By Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Hockey

What happened next, though, was unlike any other time in Koivu's career.

The season was paused in March by the coronavirus pandemic and after months of uncertainty, particularly for a veteran like Koivu, the league finally returned for a postseason tournament in August in two bubbles in Canada.

But after just four games, the Wild was eliminated from the NHL's play-in round - with Koivu on the ice in Edmonton for the Canucks' overtime goal that ultimately ended his final game with the team.

Koivu's last home game was March 3 vs. the Predators. It's possible his No. 9 will be the first player jersey to hang from the rafters at Xcel Energy Center.

A former All-Star, one-time Selke Trophy finalist as the league's best defensive forward and the first full-time captain in Wild history, Koivu is the franchise's all-time leader in games (1,028) and points (709). He was the 55th player in NHL history to play his first 1,000 games with the same team.

"When you look back, there's so much good," Koivu said. "Ups and downs obviously like anything. But great, great memories and great people around the team over the years and creating so many friendships."

 

Planning for life after the Wild is new for Koivu, but to handle the transition he'll settle into a familiar routine.

And that's getting back on the ice to compete, just like he always has.

"You need to skate and be a part of the drills, even if it's not games right away," Koivu said. "Just to get in game shape, I think that's what I need and gives me the best opportunity to prepare myself for the future, whatever that might be."

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