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Why was Saku Koivu let go?

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06-30-2011, 03:15 PM
  #1
Metalcommand
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Why was Saku Koivu let go?

Well, basically that's it. I didn't follow the NHL at all back then. He had 50 points in 65 games prior to leaving which is quite good.Were there some specific reasons (locker room, his play etc.) or did the Canadiens just want to take a new direction like Philly did this off-season?

What was the general sentiment in Montreal with the fans when he left? Good, bad? Perhaps share your feelings?

Thanks for the answers in advance!

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06-30-2011, 03:16 PM
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LyleOdelein
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In a nutshell, it was time to part ways.

Most fans still loved Koivu, but it just seemed like a change was needed.

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06-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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Mike8
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Back then? I don't know what to say.

In any event: as mentioned above, the team had collapsed that last year. The core was changed entirely.

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06-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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Roulin
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IMO, it was just because of his age. Koivu was 34 when the season ended, Kovalev was 35. The Habs rebooted with Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri, who at the time were 29, 30 and 27 respectively.

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06-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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Phousse
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Yeah that summer about half the team was changed and like it or not, Koivu leaving was for the best. He's still my favourite Hab from the past 10 years.

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06-30-2011, 03:22 PM
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Because he didnt show up every night

And to change the core of the team

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06-30-2011, 03:23 PM
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Myron Gaines*
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Change the core of the team, rightfully so. It was rotten with flies all over it.

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06-30-2011, 03:24 PM
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Bob Gainey thought he acquired a significant upgrade.

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06-30-2011, 03:26 PM
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Roulin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSorleyStick View Post
Because he didnt show up every night
Sarcasm?

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06-30-2011, 03:29 PM
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HCH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
IMO, it was just because of his age. Koivu was 34 when the season ended, Kovalev was 35. The Habs rebooted with Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri, who at the time were 29, 30 and 27 respectively.
But Gainey wanted to keep Kovalev (and Komisarek) so age doesn't have much to do with it. I think it was a brain cramp moment... and with the benefit of hindsight, I don't think Gainey would trade for Gomez again. He almost admitted that it was a flop when he discussed his talk with Gomez about what Gomez needed to do to contribute.

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06-30-2011, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSorleyStick View Post
Because he didnt show up every night

And to change the core of the team
I truly hope you're kidding because if there is one player that showed up every single game, it's Koivu. Never took a night off.

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06-30-2011, 03:30 PM
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Natedawg
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Like others have said.. 2 things

1)Get Younger
2)Change the dynamic of the team (See Philly w/ Carter Richards)

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06-30-2011, 03:30 PM
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HCH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForeverAlone View Post
Change the core of the team, rightfully so. It was rotten with flies all over it.
The team that won the conference the year before suddenly had flies all over it?? Talk about a knee-jerk reaction

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06-30-2011, 03:32 PM
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habsfan92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSorleyStick View Post
Because he didnt show up every night

And to change the core of the team
Yes, we needed new guys that don't show up every night.

I like BG's news conference where he apologizes that he was never able to surround Koivu with the kind of players that the team needed, and Koivu needed to be succesful. So he let a whole bunch of players go for nothing, traded for Gomez & got some free agents. Wouldn't have the cap space to bring him back-back then anyways. At his age, no he couldn't show up every night, but then again he showed up more than almost anybody else on the team, but was still expected to carry them, which was too much to expect. He did however show up in important games & playoffs. I still wonder if he would have made a difference against the Flyers.

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06-30-2011, 03:33 PM
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gunnerdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCH View Post
The team that won the conference the year before suddenly had flies all over it?? Talk about a knee-jerk reaction
That's all speculation. I don't believe it for a second.

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06-30-2011, 03:35 PM
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habs03
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First of all, I LOVEE SAKU, anyone even questioning his love and passion for the team or his leadership is an idiot imo. But I really think we needed a change, same with Kovy. Saku is a quiet leader that leads by example, but you can see that some of the players were held unaccountable, Kovy could do wtv he wanted and no one on the team would say anything, Tangy didn't want to play because he didn't want to risk anything since its was a contract year, Komi Higgins were doing wtv they like. These past two years, its the first time in a while that I felt like that team had a true leadership core (Gionta/Gill/Gorges/Gomez/Pleck/Cammy), I feel like they all are on the same page, while before it seemed as though everyone was doing their own thing. Just my 2 cents on the matter. Love Saku!!

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06-30-2011, 03:37 PM
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Double XX L
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejaculine View Post
I truly hope you're kidding because if there is one player that showed up every single game, it's Koivu. Never took a night off.
So true. Koivu NEVER did take a night off on the ice.

In his tenure as the Habs Captain, lots of background drama always seemed to plague the team. He wasn't able to unify them (Sounds silly, I Know, because he honestly is such an amazing INDIVIDUAL).

Brian Gionta (I cannot even believe it ) Has a more unified Montreal Canadiens club, committed to winning, than Saku ever did in his entire tenure as Team Captain.

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06-30-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCH View Post
The team that won the conference the year before suddenly had flies all over it?? Talk about a knee-jerk reaction
Yeah, and? Did that team achieve anything besides that?

That team was clearly not united and you could see a clear lack of leadership in it.

Edit: Surprised to notice that a lot of people still can't get the purpose of not signing Koivu after 2 years. Sad.

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06-30-2011, 03:40 PM
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OneSharpMarble
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gainey was in panic mode and wanted it to look like he had accomplished something. He dumped Koivu in the hopes he could grab a big name and redeem himself.

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06-30-2011, 03:40 PM
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change of leadership was required.

nothing against Koivu personally... but maybe he was a magnet for troubles or I dunno. Things happened when he was there that wouldn't happen anywhere else.

-The kost brothers fiasco
-fights between players (ribeiro and koivu fight being only one of many)
-players leaving like Rivet and Souray and saying they are glad to be away
-Can't have two good seasons in a row as a team
-Theodore fiasco
-Higgins, Ryder and other "would be leaders" becoming total flops.

If you were to ask for my personal deep opinion : I think he cared extremely on the ice, but didn't care at all of the ice and didn't do what a captain should do.
e.g. call Selanne to convince him to come here (like Sakic used to do with UFAs)
e.g. tell the kids to keep it low and show them the way.
etc.

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06-30-2011, 03:42 PM
  #21
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In retrospect he was the one player let go off during the great purge of 2009 that it would have been smarter to keep with reference to their replacements. Tanguay collapsed the next season in Tampa, Kovalev has been an expensive failure in Ottawa, Komisarek has been terrible in Toronto and Higgins hasn't been much of anything until he found a 3rd line role in Vancouver.

Gomez and Koivu have produced comparably over the past two years. Gomez 97 points in 158 games for 0.61 PPG, Koivu 97 points over 156 games for .62. Koivu has 63 ES points to Gomez's 60 for the same period. I think Koivu was in a more favourable situation playing behind an elite line and with Selanne however so Gomez may have been a more effective player over that time.

Koivu had the advantage of playing with a resurgent Selanne however, Gomez never got a PPG winger. Considering assets and cap-space Koivu was the better option if he was an option. The thing no one here knows is whether he was an option going forward or not.

Ultimately 2009-2010 Gomez who was a 60 point centerman playing tough minutes is the best player, if he returns to that then it was an definitely upgrade in play over Koivu.

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06-30-2011, 03:48 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstream View Post
change of leadership was required.

nothing against Koivu personally... but maybe he was a magnet for troubles or I dunno. Things happened when he was there that wouldn't happen anywhere else.

-The kost brothers fiasco
-fights between players (ribeiro and koivu fight being only one of many)
-players leaving like Rivet and Souray and saying they are glad to be away
-Can't have two good seasons in a row as a team
-Theodore fiasco
-Higgins, Ryder and other "would be leaders" becoming total flops.

If you were to ask for my personal deep opinion : I think he cared extremely on the ice, but didn't care at all of the ice and didn't do what a captain should do.
e.g. call Selanne to convince him to come here (like Sakic used to do with UFAs)
e.g. tell the kids to keep it low and show them the way.
etc.
You said it, it's your opinion.

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06-30-2011, 03:54 PM
  #23
alexstream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
You said it, it's your opinion.
I however reitarate that I have nothing against koivu himself, as a player. He's perfect in his 2nd line center role in Anaheim for sure.

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06-30-2011, 03:58 PM
  #24
Mike8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstream View Post
change of leadership was required.

nothing against Koivu personally... but maybe he was a magnet for troubles or I dunno. Things happened when he was there that wouldn't happen anywhere else.

-The kost brothers fiasco
-fights between players (ribeiro and koivu fight being only one of many)
-players leaving like Rivet and Souray and saying they are glad to be away
-Can't have two good seasons in a row as a team
-Theodore fiasco
-Higgins, Ryder and other "would be leaders" becoming total flops.

If you were to ask for my personal deep opinion : I think he cared extremely on the ice, but didn't care at all of the ice and didn't do what a captain should do.
e.g. call Selanne to convince him to come here (like Sakic used to do with UFAs)
e.g. tell the kids to keep it low and show them the way.
etc.
Everything you listed there have happened with regularity around the NHL. It's hard to understand you mentioning such things, particularly Rivet/Souray's departure (given that they were both close to Koivu), in reference to Koivu's capacity as a leader.

Of note: Ryder was never a 'potential' leader. And it's all the more peculiar that you cite Higgins and Ryder as being 'total flops' when they were just battling it out in the Cup finals.

The Theodore 'fiasco' was nothing more than a grossly overachieving, seemingly budding superstar coming back to earth. Koivu had nothing to do with that.

The fact that the team couldn't string two good seasons together was attributable to the team just not being very good. To have one good season every so often was a testament to the team's ability to play the underdog role to perfection at times; a role Koivu thrived in and certainly led.

Fights between players in practice is common place in the NHL. Hell, Barnaby and Rob Ray came to blows on the team bus once--and they were the best of friends on that tough Sabres club in the '90s.

The Kostitsyn brother fiasco was the direct result of a combination of an overhyped team, overhyped players, in a market with far too many shoddy journalists. It was not a lockerroom or internal problem.

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Old
06-30-2011, 03:59 PM
  #25
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I'm the most pro-canadian fan of the team. I hate it when they surround the team with europeans, and all I want is canadians, canadians, canadians. but i got to say, that little finn had the biggest heart i've ever seen. It was a sad.....sad day, after all the memories he had given us, i wish we could have seen him hoist the cup here.

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