With Saku Koivu making his triumphant return to Montreal tonight, it’s been a homecoming in Quebec that’s brought out such a warm outpouring of emotion that it’s as if the modern equivalent Jean Beliveau or Rocket Richard were taking the ice at Bell Centre.
Koivu was captain of the Canadiens for ten years from 1999-2009. While he never won the Stanley Cup with the Habs, he had an outstanding career in Montreal. He was able to overcome cancer while playing for the Canadiens and his courage and toughness showed through in rebounding from that to continue pulling the Habs sweater on night after night.
His departure to Anaheim via free agency during the summer of 2009 was heartbreaking for many Habs fans and tonight was the first opportunity they had to say “thank you” to Koivu for his years of dedicated play. In typical Montreal fashion, they did not disappoint in how they received Koivu and celebrated him with chants of, “Saku! Saku!” Check out the video from tonight to see for yourself.