Wednesday July 8th, 2009

Saku Koivu, former captain of the Montreal Canadiens, has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

Koivu will earn $3.25 million.

The length of the free agent contract dovetails with the one signed by Teemu Selanne, who has announced he will retire after the 2009-10 season. Koivu, a center, and Selanne, a right wing, have had success internationally playing on the same line, helping Finland to win the silver medal in the 2006 Olympics.

Koivu had 16 goals and 34 assists last year in Montreal, which squeaked into the playoffs and was eliminated in four straight by the Boston Bruins. Koivu, one of 10 Montreal UFAs, became a focal point for discontent with the Canadiens, a heritage franchise that did not reach a conference final since he joined it in 1995. The Canadiens did not offer Koivu a contract for next season.

The Minnesota Wild had been interested in signing Koivu to join his brother, Mikko, but Saku was reluctant to play with his emerging younger sibling because he thought it would hinder Mikko's progress.

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