Mikko Koivu selected to NHL All-Star Game
CHICAGO – Center Mikko Koivu is without question the face of the Minnesota Wild organization, and in his seventh season he is now an NHL All-Star for the first time.
The Wild captain hates speaking about individual accomplishments, so when he was asked about enjoying the honor Thursday morning at the United Center, his answer was predictable.
"When it's time for that,” Koivu said. "I don't think right now. We're in the middle of a road trip, and it's a game day and a tough stretch coming up for us. When the time comes, you're able to enjoy it and probably even more realize what's happening. Right now, of course, you're happy about it, but at the same time you want to focus on the game and road trip.”
All-Star Weekend is Jan. 28-29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. The NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft will be held Jan. 26 to divide the group into two competing teams, each comprised of 12 forwards, six defensemen and three goaltenders who will play in the Jan. 29 game.
Koivu, who has led the Wild in scoring in each of the past three seasons, is tops again this year with 33 points in 39 games. A potential Selke Trophy candidate for best defensive forward, he leads the NHL's second-worst offensive team with a plus-9 rating.
"I'm stunned he doesn't get more recognition,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "He's only concerned about winning games, and individual stuff is not what drives him. I personally feel for our franchise that it's important that he gets more recognition, and today's a great first step in that direction.”
Koivu is the Wild's second all-time leading scorer with 350 points in 472 games. He ranks first on the all-time list with 245 assists, third with 105 goals, second with 79 multi-point games, second with nine shorthanded goals and second with 1,169 shots.
"The thing about Mikko is the statistics really don't tell the entire story,” first-year Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "He is so vital to our success on and off the ice."
Koivu becomes the eighth Wild player selected to the All-Star Game, joining Marian Gaborik (2003 and 2008), Filip Kuba (2004), Dwayne Roloson (2004), Brian Rolston (2007), Niklas Backstrom (2009), Brent Burns and Martin Havlat (2011). Koivu is the first Wild center chosen.