Photo cred - All Habs
With 105 years of history, the Montreal Canadiens lead the way as one of the classiest organizations in organized sports. Whether honoring the life of Habs Legend Jean Béliveau or organizing blood drives for the community, your Montreal Canadiens continue to prove that they are more than just hockey players, they are the heart of the city!
Of all the incredible players and captains we’ve been spoiled with, there is one player who stands out, Saku Koivu. After being the face of the franchise for 13 years, the Montreal Canadiens will honor him live on RDS, Thursday December 18th @7:30pm.
In honor of Saku, we at MTL Blog have put together a list of the top 11 moments and accomplishments of #11’s career.
On April 9th 2002, Koivu returns from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer. He received a 9-minute standing ovation, one of the most emotional moments in Montreal Canadiens history.
Saku was named captain on September 30th 1999, and remained captain for 11 years matching Jean Beliveau as the longest captain in team history.
A man of generosity doesn’t begin to express Saku. In 2002, the Saku Koivu Foundation raised 8 million dollars to buy the first PET/CT Scanner for the Montreal General Hospital. It was the first machine of its kind at the MGH and treats 2500-3000 patients annually.
On Feb 19th 2008, the Habs down 5-0 to the Rangers staged an impossible comback. With 5 minutes left in the second, the Habs embarked on a 5 goal journey, where Saku sealed the deal in shoutouts.
NHL All Star Weekend
Koivu was selected into the NHL All Star weekend in 1998 and 2003. Unfortunately due to a knee injury was unable to play in 2003 but registered 3 points in 98’
An NHL Star and Olympian, Koivu won Bronze and Silver at the 1998 and 2006 winter Olympics.
In 1993, Saku was the 1st round (21st overall) draft and dawned the Habs colors for 792 career games.
His Entire NHL Career
Playing 1124 career games, 255 career goals, 577 career assists and 832 points, a very impressive career.
The Bill Masterson Trophy
In 2001-2002, Koivu was named the recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance and sportsmanship, something Saku will always be known for.
The Last Visit
On October 24th 2013, Koivu paid his last visit to the Bell Center and received a standing ovation. He was the game’s third star.
A Gracious Retirement
This Summer, after 18 years in the NHL Saku hung up the laces and called it a career. He will forever be one of the greatest European Captains to ever play the game.