The Minnesota Wild suffered a huge blow this week when captain and star forward Mikko Koivu suffered a serious knee injury during Tuesday's game against the Buffalo Sabres. On Wednesday, the Wild announced that Koivu had suffered a torn ACL & torn meniscus and would miss the remainder of this season.
Koivu, 35, suffered the injury when he collided with Sabres forward Tage Thompson in the neutral zone during the first period of Tuesday's game in Buffalo. The collision appeared to be knee-on-knee, but Koivu was able to quickly get up and skate off the ice under his own power.
Watching the Koivu hit last night I didn't think the news coming out today would be as bad as it is. Koivu gets hit but gets right up and skates to the bench and stops on his own. I mean, he tore his freaking ACL and it didn't phase him. I knew hockey player are tough but wow. pic.twitter.com/ckfQAkKWrf— Ryan Carter 👃 (@Ryan_Carter22) February 6, 2019
Koivu will reportedly undergo surgery on Friday to repair the knee, according to an official news release from the club.
The loss is a big one for a Wild team that is fighting to stay in a playoff position. Minnesota currently sits fourth in the Central division and in the Western Conference's first Wild Card spot.
Koivu has eight goals and 29 points (fourth among Wild forwards) through 48 games this season. He also leads the team in faceoff wins (488) and is a key piece of both the power-play and penalty kill units for Minnesota.
His leadership will also be missed, as Koivu has been the Wild's captain (their first permanent team captain in franchise history) for the past decade.