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SAKU KOIVU TRIBUTES
Following are media excerpts from around the league regarding Saku Koivu leaving Montreal and signing with the Ducks.


Montreal Gazette Staff (July 8, 2009)–
Saku Koivu was the “heart and soul of the Canadiens for 14 years.”

Dave Stubbs (Montreal Gazette – July 9, 2009)
“If you don’t believe that Saku Koivu has been larger than life in Montreal, you’ve not taken note of his multi-storey likeness on the southeast corner of the Bell Centre.

…Some day soon, the Bell Centre will quietly be stripped of the towering No. 11 on its southeast corner. But it will be a long, long time before Canadiens fans look up at that wall and not see the inspirational leader of the building’s prime tenant, a man who grew among us and touched countless lives on and off the ice.

…But Wednesday was a rib-kick loss of substance. Koivu, the very essence of the Canadiens for more than a decade, announced a move of three time zones to the California coast, about as far from Montreal as NHL geography would allow.

…Anaheim doesn’t yet realize the quality of the man they’ve just signed. Montreal knows full well what it has lost.”

Red Fisher (Montreal Gazette – July 2, 2009)
“I have covered this team for more than a half-century, and I cannot recall a night to match the excitement when he returned to the lineup after missing the first 79 games of the 2001-02 season because of his life-threatening battle with cancer. I can't recall any Habs crowd more giddy with pleasure welcoming a player back.

The noise erupted from the standing men, women and children even before the first of the Habs had stepped onto the ice, and grew and grew as one player followed another: Joe Juneau ... Craig Rivet and then Koivu. And now, there was no longer a noise in Molson Centre, but wave upon wave engulfing it.

‘Saku! Saku! Saku!’

He stood there at the blueline, along with the rest of the starting lineup. Then, with the noise washing around him, Koivu skated to Jose Theodore, hugged him and said:

‘C’mon, let’s do it.’

Koivu skated to the blueline, and it was only then that he removed his helmet, the lights glinting off his golden short spikes of hair - and all the while the screaming thousands stood there welcoming back one of their own seven months after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

‘Saku! Saku! Saku!’

He raised his stick, waving it like a wand signaling the magic of this moment - and who can say it wasn't on this night only moments away from the Habs' 80th game of the season? And then ... another soaring moment: the Ottawa starters skated to their bench, leaving Koivu alone with his starting colleagues.

‘Saku! Saku! Saku!’

Now he’s gone – and I’ll miss him greatly.

So will Canadiens fans.”

Marc Antoine Godin (La Presse – July 9, 2009)
“The picture of a warrior would later inspire the play of the man who would become known as Captain Courage.”

Gaston Therrien (RDS – July 8, 2009)
“There is no doubt that Saku’s work ethic was second-to-none. He gave everything he had and then some and come playoff time, he was a fierce and relentless competitor.”

Lisa Dillman (Los Angeles Times – July 9, 2009)
“Koivu's popularity in Montreal was never clearer than April 9, 2002, the night he returned for his first game after cancer treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and received an eight-minute standing ovation.”

Dan Wood (Orange County Register – July 9, 2009)
“A rapid and well-publicized recovery from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2002 and a serious eye injury in 2006 only added to his Montreal legacy.

…Though only 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, Koivu has carved a reputation as a competitive, two-way performer. Not surprisingly, many find it difficult to understand why the Canadiens let him go.”

Eric Stephens (NHL.com – July 8, 2009)
“Koivu became one of the most admired Canadiens in the franchise's storied history. His stirring comeback from a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2002 and his willingness to play through injuries endeared him to fans in La Belle Province and throughout hockey.”

Adam Kimelman (NHL.com – July 8, 2009)
Saku Koivu spent 10 years as captain of the Montreal Canadiens, tying him with Hockey Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau for the club record of longevity in the position.

…And with a Beliveau-like stroke of class, on the same day he signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks, Koivu assembled a special conference call with Montreal media members to say farewell to a town in which he spent 14 years.”

Pierre LeBrun (ESPN.com – July 8, 2009)
“He loves his brother so much; he doesn't want to risk what they have now. That's about as unselfish as it gets. So it’s off to Anaheim – where Selanne awaits.”

Wes Goldstein (CBS Sportsline.com – July 8, 2009)
“He was celebrated as a hero in Montreal when he returned from his cancer treatment for the final three games of the 2001-02 season, getting the kind of standing ovation from the 21,273 fans in attendance that only Rocket Richard had received.”

Jack Todd – (Montreal Gazette – July 7, 2009)
“If there is one word that describes both the private and the public Koivu, it is courage. Courage of every sort: the courage to accept great physical pain, the courage to face up to much larger, stronger players night after night, the courage to bite your tongue in the face of great provocation, the courage to answer stupid questions without belittling the questioner.

…This city, Saku, will never be quite the same without you.”




SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 49 5 35 9 40
C. Perry 53 21 17 -4 38
R. Rakell 50 13 15 -3 28
R. Kesler 53 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 53 6 19 -1 25
C. Stewart 47 8 10 2 18
J. Silfverberg 53 6 12 -2 18
A. Cogliano 53 6 11 -9 17
H. Lindholm 52 6 8 -6 14
C. Fowler 40 3 9 -10 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 11 8 6 .920 2.30
J. Gibson 12 8 2 .917 2.13


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