The Columbus Blue Jackets have added a veteran center to their roster, signing Mikko Koivu on the second day of NHL free agency. His contract will see him get paid $1.5 million for the season.
While his offensive production hasn’t been great, Koivu is still in the upperclassmen in terms of face-offs and could play a role killing penalties.
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen released the following statement:
Mikko Koivu has been a very consistent, productive two-way player in the National Hockey League for many years. He is a great leader, has impeccable character and will be a valuable addition to our young team. We are very excited that he has chosen to continue his career as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Koivu, 37, has registered 205 goals and 504 assists for 709 points with the Minnesota Wild. It’s the only team he’s ever played for. He leaves that franchise with a +70 plus/minus rating in 1,028 career games over 15 seasons. He is also the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, points and assists and ranks second in goals (Marian Gaborik, 219).”
Koivu will likely slot into the Jackets’ lineup on the fourth line. It is expected he will take the spot from Riley Nash has played most of the past two seasons in that position.
It will certainly be a different look for Koivu, but when the Wild informed him it was time to move on, it was clear he needed to find a new franchise to call home if he wanted to keep his NHL playing days alive.
Next: Torey Krug Signs Long-Term Deal With the St. Louis Blues
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