Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

The Montreal Canadiens honored former captain Saku Koivu in a moving ceremony before their game against the Anaheim Ducks.

By SI.com Staff
December 18, 2014

The Montreal Canadiens brought their former captain Saku Koivu to the ice one more time to honor is 19 seasons in the NHL. 

The pregame ceremony and speech was before a tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, the team Koivu ended his career with before retiring in September. He spent 1995 to 2009 with the Canadians before signing in Anaheim before the 2009-2010 season as a free agent. 

"I believe that every NHL player should have the opportunity to play in Montreal for the best fans in the world," said a teary-eyed Koivu before the crowd at the Bell Centre. 

Canadiens fans responded with the same gusto that they had for Koivu when he returned to the Bell Centre on April 9, 2002 from his fight with cancer. 

Koivu lead the Habs for 10 of the 14 years he was with the team, tying him with the late Jean Beliveau. 

He ended his NHL career with 1124 games played, 255 goals and 577 assists. 

-- Anna Gallegos

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