It is there that young Mikko has emerged as a face of the Minnesota Wild. His 34-year-old brother, Saku, became a free agent July 1, and it made sense that the two would play together with the Wild. In the end, however, Saku decided against the move, agreeing Wednesday to a one-year deal with Anaheim.
Koivu's acceptance of a one-year deal with the Ducks is a sign of a couple factors. For starters, he wanted to play with countryman Teemu Selanne in the latter's final NHL season. Also, it doesn't appear that Saku was too keen on playing with his younger brother.
"We spoke to Minnesota a few times. All the talks went very well, but it was more personal reasons. I didn't feel comfortable. I kind of felt that Minnesota's Mikko's place at this point. I wanted him to have his own privacy in a way and make his own name and career. And I just felt there were too many risks for us as brothers and as family members to join on the same team and kind of compete for the same ice time. And I felt we're better off playing somewhere else."After nine years as a captain in Montreal, Saku Koivu is a pretty prideful guy. Even the smallest chance that his game would slip in Minnesota, and he would drag his younger brother down with him, was too much to risk.
It's hard to get down on a guy for simply not wanting to play somewhere. Reports are that Minnesota offered a multi-year deal and may have offered more per year than what Saku got from Anaheim for a one-year contract. In other words, he took less money to play for the Ducks.
While it has to be disappointing for the Wild, they have nothing to hang their heads over on this one.