Minnesota Wild Set to Retire First Number in Franchise History
It'll be the first uniform number to hang in the rafters at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Minnesota Wild's first season in the NHL was in 2000, and not even one full year later the Minnesota Wild selected a Finnish Centerman, Mikko Koivu with the 6th overall selection in the 2001 NHL Draft. Koivu played his first season in Minnesota in 2005-2006 and was a staple in the lineup ever since.
Koivu was the franchise's first full-time captain and now will have his number retired by the Minnesota Wild.
According to the Minnesota Wild, Koivu's number will officially go into the rafters on March 13th when the Wild hosts the Nashville Predators. Koivu is the first player to have his uniform number retired by the Wild.
"We are extremely excited to announce that Mikko Koivu will be the first player in team history to have his jersey retired," said Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold in a news release. "Mikko did so many great things for our organization on the ice and in our community during his 15-year career here. He truly deserves this honor and I look forward to celebrating this historic moment with his family and all our passionate fans at Xcel Energy Center on March 13."
Koivu ranks as number one or number two in about every category possible. Koivu is the franchise's all-time leader in games played (1,028), assists (504), points (709), plus/minus rating (plus-70), shots on goal (2,270), power-play points (251), power-play assists (191), shorthanded points (25), shorthanded assists (15), multi-point games (153), face-offs won (10,354), face-offs taken (19,290), shootout attempts (107), shootout goals (42), game-deciding goals (18) and playoff games played (59). He ranks second in team history in goals (205), power-play goals (60), shorthanded goals (10), penalty minutes (592), playoff points (28) and playoff assists (17), T-2nd in overtime goals (5), and third in game-winning goals (33).
This impressive resume, along with Koivu's leadership on and off the ice, makes for plenty of reasons to put his number in the rafters.
"No one worked harder than Mikko during his time with the Minnesota Wild," said Wild General Manager Bill Guerin in a news release. "He was a fiery competitor and a fantastic captain both on and off the ice. Mikko is the franchise leader in so many categories, but the impact he made in our community and the connections he made with Wild fans, will live on forever. We look forward to sharing this special honor with Mikko and all of our great fans on March 13."
He was also the first player in franchise history to play 1,000 career games all in a Wild sweater. It makes sense for the franchise's first full-time captain to get the nod as the first player to have his number retired by the Minnesota Wild.