With their elimination on Saturday to the Vancouver Canucks in overtime, the Minnesota Wild’s offseason is already underway. The team has shown some signs that it is still a consistent playoff contender and can now focus their attention on recently signed Russian import Kirill Karpizov to look forward to for the 2020-21 season. However, the team could be saying goodbye to another longtime Minnesota player.
One question that has already been asked is what veteran captain Mikko Koivu intends to do next season. The 37-year-old has been with the organization ever since he was drafted sixth-overall in 2001, posting 205 goals and 709 points in 15 seasons. He will be hitting unrestricted free agency this upcoming season after making $5.5MM the past two years, but admitted he needs time to decide what his plans are going forward, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo.
“I need to be real careful, especially with that game and what do I want with the future and then go from there,” said Koivu, via The Athletic’s Jessi Pierce. “It’s such a big decision, there’s no way I’m ready to do that right now.”
Koivu, captain of the team since the 2008-09 season has been a major contributor over the years. While those numbers have decreased in the last few years, he did still post a 45-point season back in 2017-18. Those numbers have taken a back role in the last two years, however. He tallied only 29 points in 48 games in 2018-19 due to injuries and scored only 21 points in 55 games this year. He has seen his playing time drop dramatically as well in the last two years, having always been a 20:00+ player for much of his career on the ice. That number dropped to just 15:34 this past year as he spent most of the season on the fourth line. His playoff numbers were even worse as he averaged less than 12 minutes per game on the ice, including just 9:54 in Game 2.
Time to go bud…you had your time and now it’s over for ya!!