On Wednesday, the Ducks announced that they have re-signed Saku Koivu to a one year contract. The contract pays him $3 million and has bonuses written in as well.
Koivu, 37, has played for three seasons with Anaheim since signing as a free agent in 2009. Koivu formerly played with the Montreal Canadiens, serving as their team captain for a decade.On Mar. 12, 2012 Koivu played in his 1,000th NHL game. He became the fifth Finnish-born player to reach the milestone, joining Teppo Numminen (1,372), Teemu Selanne (1,341), Jari Kurri (1,251) and Olli Jokinen (1,042). In addition, Koivu was the 33rd European-born player to appear in 1,000 NHL games.
A cancer survivor who did not play for the majority of the 2001-2002 season, it is a tribute to Koivu that he has now managed to make it to 1000+ games.
“Character and leadership on and off the ice,” was GM Bob Murray's assessment of Koivu. “You can never have enough of that. Things didn’t go well this year. He’s a veteran who really believes it can work here and wants it to work here. He had an opportunity this year to jump ship and he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay and make it work. That’s a quality character guy. We need more of that.”
Koivu was certainly disappointed that the Ducks did not make the post season, but is positive about Anaheim's chances next year.
“Talking with Bob and hearing his thoughts and his plan and then also getting very positive messages from the ownership, I’m confident that they’re going to make a push,” Koivu said. “We basically have the core group of young players. The future looks bright. I’m really, really happy about it. It’s a good thing that and a positive thing that we got it done at this point. I don’t have to worry about it.Now if only Koivu's fellow Finn decides to re-sign for one more year, things will be looking up for the Ducks.