Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu jumped abroad over the weekend, signing a lockout deal with Finnish club side TPS Turku.
According to Matias Strozyk of Jatkoaika and Elite Prospects, Koivu’s contract with TPS runs through the end of November, with an extension depending on the length of the NHL lockout.
Koivu’s move to Finland shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. He represented TPS at both the junior and senior levels before joining the Minnesota organization in 2004 and, along with brother Saku Koivu, now part-owns the club.
(Also included in the ownership group? Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.)
It’s also worth noting Koivu’s father, Jukka, has been a longtime coach within the TPS organization.
As far as SM-liiga clubs go, Turku has a decent amount of NHL experience. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez signed with the club earlier in October, joining the likes of ex-Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki, former Avalanche winger Brian Willsie and ex-Ottawa forward Corey Locke.
Koivu is now the second Minnesota player to sign in Europe during the lockout, joining Jared Spurgeon, who signed with Langnau of the Swiss National League A.