Habs lock up Koivu for three more years
MONTREAL - Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Saturday that team captain Saku Koivu has signed a three-year contract extension (2006-07 to 2008-09). As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Koivu, 31, is playing in his 10th season with the Canadiens. In 45 games thus far in 2005-06, he's recorded 14 goals and 25 assists for a team-high 39 points, tied with Alex Kovalev. The 5-foot-10, 184-pound centreman from Turku, Finland, enjoyed 12 multiple-point games, including three three-point games, and has scored two game-winning goals. He's registered a plus-1 rating and has 50 penalty minutes.
On October 8, 2005 in Toronto, Koivu took part in his 500th NHL game and recorded the 400th point of is career. On January 16, 2006, against the Dallas Stars at the Bell Centre, he registered his 300th career assist.
During his career, Koivu has played in 542 games in regular season play, collecting 134 goals and 303 assists for a total of 437 points, and 392 penalty minutes. He had his best season in 2002-03, when he registered 21 goals, 50 assists and 71 points in 82 games, all career-highs. He also had a 20-goal campaign in his first NHL season, in 1995-96. Koivu has played in 46 career playoff games, scoring 13 goals and adding 21 assists for a total of 34 points.
On the International scene, starting next week, Koivu will participate in his third Olympic games, in Turin, after wearing the Finnish uniform in Lillehammer, Norway (1994) and in Nagano, Japan (1998). Through the years, Koivu also represented his country in six World Championships (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2003), two World Junior Championships (1993, 1994) and one World Cup (2004).
In 2001-02, after making a remarkable return to hockey following a battle against non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer, Saku Koivu was named the recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. He was selected the 27th Captain in Canadiens history on September 30, 1999.
Koivu was the Canadiens' first-round pick (21st overall) in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.