Ahh, what a glorious day. Teemu Selanne said this season would be his last. The "Finnish Flash," as he's known, has had a remarkable career, setting the rookie goal-scoring record at 76 with a lowly team out of Winnipeg in the early '90s, winning a Stanley Cup, and emerging from increasingly painful injuries to continue on the respectable path of consistency.
But alas, all good things must come to an end, and Teemu is going out a winner—or at least it seems is very determined to do so. Enter Saku Koivu.
Now although my picture does indicate it (and trust me I debated with myself whether I should) this article will not be used to trash the Habs or their poor decision making this season. Well, not solely.
But facts are facts, and although I would love to write this as Koivu (and others) are turning their backs, tucking their tails, and running from the organization, that's not the case. It was just time.
Just like it was time for Alexei Kovalev, a guy who scores 90 points when he's motivated, dropped to under 70 this year, if I'm not mistaken. The scary part?? He still led the Habs in points.
There was a rally wanting to make him their new captain, over 3,000 people and they instead let him walk. Well, now Ottawa has him, and again, if he's properly motivated—being in the same division should help—look out.
Koivu played 13 seasons with Montreal, many of which ended with him getting hurt or just not finding his game until late in the season.
But even so, he gave his heart and part of his life to the team, and their fans, as fickle as they can sometimes be (Roy, 1992-93 then again in 95), supported him...through the up and down seasons, and through cancer. Koivu deserved his "C," and I doubt anyone will ever wear it and do so much with it without being overly productive in the next decade—or the one after.
Remember, this is all coming from someone who hates Montreal. HATES them. But I respect the relationship Koivu and the Habs faithful have shared.
Now, the book closes. If it were up to me, I'd sign him as Bob Gainey, let him get the eight games in to hit 800 as a Hab, then give him a proper sendoff to Anaheim, in this case. But that's just me.
With Selanne and Koivu in place, the Ducks now have a silver-medal winning tandem from the Olympic Games, a former Norris Trophy winner running the ship as Head Coach, and a nice collection of young guns and proven stars. For Koivu, and new Senator Kovalev, it was time to move on, write a new chapter.
Maybe...just maybe, it's time for the Anaheim Ducks to once again win the big one. If anyone deserves a Cup, it's the longest reigning Canadiens leader to never win one on a team that has 24.
Who knows, rebuilding the Montreal Canadiens may work wonders. If you don't believe me, check out that team in Pennsylvania. Hey, Kovalev played there too!! I wonder...
Until next time, this is your Crowd Coach, signing off.