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Koivu agrees to two-year contract extension with Wild

Captain will be paid $5.5 million annually for deal that begins in 2018-19 @NHLdotcom

Center Mikko Koivu agreed to terms on a two-year, $11 million contract extension with the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

The Wild captain will make $6 million next season and $5 million in 2019-20 ($5.5 million average annual value). His salary cap charge this season is $6.75 million, according to

"I wanted to get it done before we started or not talk about it at all once the season started," Koivu said. "I've never believed that it helps, either the player or the organization, if there's talks going on all of the time [during the season]."

Koivu, 34, had 58 points (18 goals, 40 assists) and 34 penalty minutes in 80 games last season. He had an NHL career-high plus-27 rating and was a finalist for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward in the League.

"He's still an excellent hockey player as he showed last year," general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "He's one of our offensive leaders and over the years, he's shown to be a top faceoff guy. He's just an extremely important player in all facets of the game for our team. ... It's very difficult to find players like him. They're incredibly valuable."

The Wild also re-signed free agent forwards Mikael Granlund (three years, $17.25 million) and Nino Niederreiter (five years, $26.25 million) contracts this offseason. 

"Mikael, Nino and Mikko are all a critical part of our core and it was important that we kept them in Minnesota," Fletcher said.

Koivu ranks first on the Wild in games (843), assists (435) and points (614). He also leads the Wild with 50 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Koivu has played in 14 international tournaments and was captain for Team Finland at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. He was named the first full-time Wild captain on Oct. 20, 2009.

Koivu was selected by the Wild in the first round (No. 6) of the 2001 NHL Draft.

"You always want to be on a team that has a chance to win," Koivu said. "The last few years, you can see how the team has gotten better each and every year. And being a part of that and getting used to a winning culture and a winning team, I think you can see it all over the room and with our core group."

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