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Columbus Blue Jackets F Mikko Koivu retires seven games into 16th NHL season

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Columbus Blue Jackets forward Mikko Koivu announced his retirement on Tuesday, seven games into his 16th NHL season.

The 37-year-old had one goal and two points in seven games with the Blue Jackets this season.

“This was not an easy decision for me as I have loved every minute of my short time in Columbus and really hoped to be able to help this team accomplish its goals this season, but the bottom line is I haven’t been able to get to the level of play that I need to be true to myself and fair to my teammates, so the time is right for me to retire from hockey,” said Koivu. “I have been extremely blessed and I am eternally grateful to the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations for the opportunities they have given me to live out my dreams of playing in the National Hockey League for the past 16 years.”

Drafted in the first round (sixth overall) by the Wild at the 2001 NHL Draft, Koivu has spent his entire NHL career in Minnesota before signing with the Blue Jackets in October.  He became the first-ever permanent captain for the Wild on Oct. 20, 2009.

A veteran of 1,035 NHL games, Koivu scored 206 goals and 711 points over his career with the Wild and Blue Jackets.

Koivu was a Selke Trophy finalist in 2016-17 and won two Olympic medals (2006 silver, 2010 bronze) with Team Finland.

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