One of the NHL’s two Koivu brothers — Minnesota’s Mikko or Anaheim’s Saku — will captain Team Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to head coach Erkka Westerlund.
“It’s a question between the Koivu brothers as to who will be the captain,” Westerlund told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “I’ve known Mikko since he was this high … [holding his left hand four feet off the ground]. He’s a strong leader on our team.
“He knows what he wants. He can help the teammates play better.”
The Koivu brothers have essentially held the “C” for Finland internationally over the last 15 years. Saku’s worn it for the majority of tournaments — since the ’98 Olympics in Nagano — but Mikko has nudged his way in over recent tourneys, including captaining the Finns to gold at the 2011 World Championships.
It might come as a surprise that veteran Teemu Selanne isn’t in the mix. The 43-year-old is arguably the greatest Finnish player of all time and looking to cap off a glorious international career that began at the ’92 games in Albertville.
While it doesn’t appear Selanne will be in the mix for the captaincy, Westerlund did say he’d consult with Selanne and Finland GM Jari Kurri before formally announcing who’ll get the “C.”