Saku Antero Koivu

Saku Antero Koivu

Finnish professional ice hockey player
Date of Birth: 23.11.1974
Country: Finland

  1. Biography of Saku Antero Koivu
  2. Professional Hockey Career
  3. Leadership in the NHL
  4. Early Career in Finland
  5. International Career
  6. Notable Achievements
  7. Later Career and Awards

Biography of Saku Antero Koivu

Professional Hockey Career

Saku Antero Koivu is a Finnish professional ice hockey player who currently serves as the alternate captain for the Anaheim Ducks in the National Hockey League (NHL). He began his career in the NHL playing for the Montreal Canadiens in 1995, after three seasons with the Finnish team TPS.

Saku Antero Koivu

Leadership in the NHL

Koivu served as the captain of the Canadiens for most of his 13 seasons with the team, making him the second-longest-serving captain in the history of the franchise. He was only surpassed by Jean Beliveau. Throughout his career, Koivu was highly regarded as a leader on and off the ice.

Saku Antero Koivu

Early Career in Finland

Koivu's professional hockey career started with the Finnish league team SM-liiga's TPS in the 1992-1993 season. He recorded ten points in his first season, five of which came during the playoffs. In the following year, his point total increased to 53, and then to 73, which was the best result in the league. Koivu also earned several awards, including the Pekka Rautakallio Trophy for leading the league in scoring, the "Kultainen kypärä" as the best player according to his peers, and the Lasse Oksanen Trophy as the league's most valuable player.

Saku Antero Koivu

International Career

Koivu represented Finland in various international competitions, often serving as the captain of the national team. He took over the captaincy from the legendary Finnish captain, Timo Jutila, and held the position continuously. In 2006, Koivu won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics and bronze medals in 1994 and 1998. He also captained the Finnish national team in the 2004 World Cup, reaching the final but ultimately losing to Canada.

Notable Achievements

Koivu's most significant achievement with the Finnish national team was winning the IIHF World Championship in 1995, the country's first and only gold medal in the tournament to date. He formed a formidable line with Jere Lehtinen and Ville Peltonen, earning them the nickname "Huey, Dewey, and Louie" after characters from the popular Disney cartoon DuckTales. This trio played a crucial role in Finland's success.

Later Career and Awards

Koivu frequently played alongside Teemu Selanne and Jere Lehtinen, creating a potent combination for Finland. After the 1999 World Championship, Selanne expressed his desire to play with Koivu on a permanent basis, sparking rumors of Koivu joining Selanne's team, the Anaheim Ducks. In July 2009, those rumors became a reality when Koivu signed a contract with the Ducks.

In addition to his international success, Koivu has also received several prestigious hockey awards, including the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to the sport in the 2001-2002 season and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership qualities in the 2006-2007 season.

In 2010, Koivu, along with Selanne and Lehtinen, was selected to represent Finland in the Vancouver Olympics, once again serving as the team's alternate captain. On February 23, 2006, he was elected by his fellow teammates to the Athletes' Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).