COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus Blue Jackets’ center Mikko Koivu announced his unexpected retirement from the NHL on Tuesday afternoon.
Koivu played more than 1,000 games for the Minnesota Wild during his 15 full years in the NHL. Koivu joined the Blue Jackets this season and played in seven games with one goal and one assist.
The Turku, Finland native was drafted sixth overall by the Wild in 2001. He ends his career with 206 goals and 505 assists.
This was not an easy decision for me as I have loved every minute of my short time in Columbus and really hoped to be able to help this team accomplish its goals this season, but the bottom line is I haven’t been able to get to the level of play that I need to be true to myself and fair to my teammates, so the time is right for me to retire from hockey. I have been extremely blessed and I am eternally grateful to the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations for the opportunities they have given me to live out my dreams of playing in the National Hockey League for the past 16 years.Mikko Koivu statement
Koivu represented Finland at two Olympic Games (2006 silver medal, 2010 bronze medal), two World Cup of Hockey Tournaments (2004-2nd Place, 2016), six IIHF World Championships (2006-bronze medal, 2007-silver medal, 2008-bronze medal, 2011-gold medal, 2012, 2016-silver medal) and a pair of IIHF World Junior Championships (2001-silver medal, 2002-bronze medal).
Among Finnish born players in NHL history, Koivu ranks fifth in points and assists and seventh in games played and goals.
Mikko Koivu is a consummate pro and while we are disappointed that his time as a Blue Jacket was short, we understand and respect the decision he has made because it is the result of the deep respect he has for the game, our organization and his teammates. I’ve known Mikko for a very long time and am proud of everything he has accomplished and how he has represented our club, the Minnesota Wild and Team Finland over the past two decades. I wish him many happy years as he transitions into the next chapter in his life.Jarmo Kekalainen, Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager