Establishing Saku Koivu's legacy in the NHL is a tricky endeavor. It is not simply defined by goals and assists, or championships.
Koivu, who announced his retirement Wednesday after 18 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and the Anaheim Ducks, leaves the game as one of its most highly respected players, yet one that never reached truly elite status in the League, nor does he have his name on the Stanley Cup.But he created as rich a legacy as any NHL player in recent history, especially in Montreal.
In a sense, it is unfortunate that Koivu will always be most remembered for the courageous battle he fought, and won, against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma during the 2001-02 season. Koivu did so much more than beat cancer over the course of his career.