MONTREAL -- It's not easy to be considered an iconic hockey figure in Montreal, but Saku Koivu comes pretty close despite lacking most of the mandatory criteria.
There are 24 Stanley Cup banners that hang from the rafters of Bell Centre, and Koivu was not associated with a single one of them. There are 62 players who once donned the CH in Montreal who are honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Koivu probably won't be joining that group either.
In his 792 games with the Canadiens over 14 years in Montreal, a record-tying 10 of them as team captain, Koivu had 641 points, ranking him 10th on the all-time franchise list.
But when he takes the ice Thursday with his Anaheim Ducks to face the Canadiens for his second career game as a visitor at Bell Centre, Koivu will, in all likelihood, be received as a hero.