He was drafted by the Minnesota Wild and went on to spend the following 15 years of his career with the organization. Over that time, he's topped franchise records, rightfully earned the "C" on his sweater and was well respected throughout the city he took so much pride in playing for.
While it was announced just a few weeks back that his time with the Wild has officially come to an end, Mikko Koivu isn't quite ready to hang up his skates just yet. Come Friday Oct. 9, he will hit the free agency market for the first time and test the waters.
In an interview with The Athletic, Koivu expressed his feelings as free agency draws closer.
"I've never been in a situation before, so I don't really even know how it works with free agency and all that," Koivu said to The Athletic.
And that was the truth. He was selected sixth overall in the 2001 NHL draft. For a player who has grown up in a franchise - spending 19 years within the organization - it would make sense for him to want to gravitate toward a team that has a level of familiarity, right?
While he noted in his interview that he didn't want to speculate the teams that could possibly call or which he'd be interested in, the Flyers may have one of the most convincing cases.
Before his time with the Flyers, general manager Chuck Fletcher was most notably known for his time with the Wild, spending nine seasons there. While Koivu lasted longer with the Wild than Fletcher, he always had high praise for the center.
Now the question stands of if Fletcher tries to bring him to Philadelphia, would that be in the best interest for his current team?
Frankly, it's something that doesn't seem all too realistic, just based on the direction the Flyers are trending in. While a significant chunk of cap space has opened up following the news of defenseman Matt Niskanen retiring, there is a lot of promise in the young prospects that have the potential to crack the roster next season.
Though, Koivu is as seasoned as you can get in the NHL and could still add value to the depth of the roster.
We'll just have to wait and see where the cards fall, if they do at all - when free agency opens.