The Minnesota Wild made several offseason moves to bring in new players for the 2010-2011 season, but no move was bigger than re-signing Mikko Koivu
, the Wild's captain and unquestioned leader. It's a big year for Koivu as he and his team have set their goal to make the playoffs. Of course, it's also an exciting time for him as he and his teammates head to his homeland of Finland.
In just 24 hours, questions flowed into Koivu's mailbag, so some serious whittling down was required. There are still some good ones in here, including Koivu's prediction on who the first person to get out of the heat of a Finnish sauna will be.Sam, Husdon, WI
How is the team's progress in adapting to Coach Richard's system in year two?
It's better. It's a little easier and a lot of guys know the way it is. Obviously, that makes it a lot easier.
Peter, St. Paul
Will the addition of John Madden allow you to take less shifts on penalty kills, and allow you to focus more on offense?
Well, it's not my decision. We'll see how we go through the season. Obviously, that's going to be a coach's decision.
Nick, East Bethel
Are the playoffs within reach this year?
That's the goal, and it's the only goal I believe. I think we can make it. It's going to be a tough thing to do. There's a lot of good teams again, but we do have a chance.
Todd, Upland, CA
How did you feel when they gave you the "C" as the Wild's first permanent captain?
It was a big honor. It was a special day for me.
With new faces every year, it must be a challenge to be the captain. How do you approach that in order to bring everyone together, both in the dressing room and on the ice?
It's not just up to the captain. It's for each and every guy in the room. The further the season goes, the guys get more familiar with each other and more comfortable with the systems. So, it's not too tough.
Who are the most influential captains that you've played with and learned the most from in your career; including pros, Olympics or World Championships?
There's a lot of guys. Every captain brings something of their own and leads in their own way. You can learn a lot from each and every one.
Andrea, Cottage Grove
Who is your favorite team to play against and why?
The Canadian teams. It's always special when you go out there, and you kind of feel the atmosphere. Maybe the teams in the East, when you just play them once a year, so those are fun as well.
Mitch, St. Paul
Before a faceoff, it looks like you often do some sort of ritual with your glove by spitting in it, blowing or something. Why do you do that?
It just helps me get a better grip.
Chris, White Bear Lake
I've been meaning to get a "Koivu" jersey for awhile now. Which do you prefer, the green third jersey or the home red jersey?
Was it hard adjusting to life in the Twin Cities, or is Finland as much like Minnesota as we've heard?
Yeah, it's very similar. It takes a little bit of time to get used to it. It's a lot bigger here than it is in Finland. But they are both cool cities to live in, and everything went pretty easy for me.
What is your favorite food to eat when you go home to Finland?
Anything my mom cooks.
Chris, St. Cloud
How many tickets did you have to set aside for family and friends for the first two games in Finland?
I don't know. Let's say a few.
Dave H., Minneapolis
What's the best place to eat in Helsinki?
I'm not really sure. I'm not from there so it will be up to Niklas (Backstrom) to figure out the good places to eat. I'm usually only there a couple weekends a year.
Allison H., Des Moines, IA
What is the one thing you are most excited to show your teammates in Finland?
Ryan N., Saskatoon, Sask
Who will be the first teammate to wuss out in the sauna?
Kristina, Apple Valley
Do you have a favorite country to visit other than Finland or the U.S.? What country would you like to see that you haven't?
My favorite place that I've been is probably Italy. And I'd like to go to Australia.
Who is your current road roommate and who do you like rooming with best?
Nick Schultz is my roommate now, and he's been good so far, so I'll say him.