Koivu suffered his latest setback yesterday when he was forced to leave the ice during practice because of lingering pain on his injured ankle. As a result, the team doctors ordered him to take a few days off the ice to rest his ankle.
This guarantees Koivu won't be back before the All-Star break and maybe more. The Finnish captain has now missed 15 games in a row and since the Canadiens are playing well without him, this will likely put an end to his tenure as the Habs' captain.
Earning $4,750,000 this season, Koivu, 34, is in the last year of his contract and he's set to become an unrestricted free agent. Unless Koivu accepts a large pay cut to stay in Montreal. I highly doubt GM Bob Gainey will tender an offer to his aging captain because of the numerous UFAs or RFAs the Canadiens will have to retain at season's end.
Alex Tanguay, Alex Kovalev, Robert Lang, Steve Begin, Tom Kostopoulos, Mike Komisarek, Francis Bouillon, Mathieu Dandenault, and Patrice Brisebois will all become UFAs, while Chris Higgins, Tomas Plekanec, Gui Latendresse, and Kyle Chipchura will become RFAs.
Would you keep Koivu? Or is it time to pass the torch to a younger captain (a.k.a. Komisarek)?
From: www. nhl-northeast.com