In what was generally expected, Mikko Koivu was named the first permanent captain in team history.
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Mikko was the clear choice of fans, after having watched him for the past few years turn into a true leader. When he wore the C during the rotating captaincy under Lemaire, the team performed better than when others wore it (cough Johnson cough). Koivu has some issues with losses, and can become quiet when the team loses. The captain will be the go to guy for the press, which he has shown an ability to handle, let's just hope he does not kill anyone should the current slide continue.
While the choice seemed to be obvious to all of us who have been around awhile, the new management wanted to see the players interact and see who stepped up and took charge. Even when Richards announced he would delay the decision, we all still knew it would eventually be Mikko.
It is most definitely his team, now and for the foreseeable future.
Congrats, Mikko. Well deserved.
From the Wild:
MINNESOTA WILD NAMES MIKKO KOIVU CAPTAINSAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher and Head Coach Todd Richards announced today that center Mikko Koivu will serve as the team’s full time captain for the 2009-10 NHL season.“Mikko possesses all the qualities you want your leader to have,” said Richards. “He is passionate, has a great work ethic and competes for everything. The way Mikko plays defines him as the leader of our team.”Koivu, 26 (3/12/83), has recorded five points (2-3=5) in seven games with the Wild this season. The 6-foot-2, 214-pound native of Turku, Finland led the team in scoring in 2008-09 with 67 points (20-47=67) in 79 matches setting career-highs in assists, points, penalty minutes (66), shorthanded goals (four) and game-winning goals (three) and ranked third in the NHL in face-offs won (857) and fourth in face-offs taken (1,625) for a 52.9 face-off percentage. Koivu also served as the team captain four times last season (October, November, January and March/April).In his fifth season with Minnesota, he has tallied 189 points (59-130=189) and 210 penalty minutes in 289 career games. Koivu ranks third on the Wild’s all-time list in shorthanded goals (six), fourth in assists, fifth in scoring, seventh in goals and 11th in games played. He was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round (6th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.The team will rotate the alternate captains each game among a leadership group consisting of three forwards (Andrew Brunette, Martin Havlat and Owen Nolan) and three defensemen (Kim Johnsson, Nick Schultz and Greg Zanon).