Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saku Koivu Jersey Card

It's hard to believe Saku Koivu is already in his fifth season with the Anaheim Ducks, since he was such a huge part of the Montréal Canadiens from his rookie season in 1995-96 until the team's Centennial in 2008-09, often the lone bright spot on offense (and the only Habs player not afraid of the mid-to-end-90s Philadelphia Flyers).

How much of a leader is he? He was the Habs' first European captain for one, but also Team Finland's captain from 1998 until 2010 despite the team counting among its ranks such veterans as Teemu Selanne (the whole time) and Jari Kurri (at first), then Jere Lehtinen. Also, he would have made the team again for the Olympics this year, but withdrew his candidacy days before the roster was announced, having just recovered from a concussion and taking one for the team so it can choose a better-prepared replacement.

While noble, it's still a blow to the team, considering he has led Finland to no less than four Olympic medals (bronze in 1994, 1998 and 2010 and silver in 2002), one World Cup silver (2004) and four top-three finishes at the World Championships (gold in 1995, silver in 1994 and 1999, and bronze in 2008), usually on will power alone.

I think I would name my first-born Saku in is honour.

Which is why I cherish all of my memorabilia of him, including this card from Topps' 2000-01 Heritage set (card #OSJ-SK of the The Original Six Relics, Authentic Player-Worn Jersey insert sub-set) showing him wearing the Habs' legendary red (then-away) jersey, with the matching swatch :
I wrote to him in 2011 to get some cards signed and almost included this one in the lot; I'm kind of glad I didn't, since I never heard back.

No comments:

Post a Comment