Saku Koivu is a small (Height : 5’10’’ ; Weight : 180 lbs) but very talented left-handed hockey player with a good vision of the game which gives him an edge in play making abilities. He was born in Turku, Finland, on November 23, 1974. He was drafted 21st overall in 1993 by the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL. He joined the team in the 1995-1996 season and became their captain in 1999 (still is) which allowed him to wear a cool «C» on the front of his team jersey. In 1998, along with Teemu Selanne, he lead Finland’s national hockey team to a bronze medal win at the Nagano Olympic Winter Games.
Unfortunately, his career has so far been plagued with injuries. At the beginning of the 2001-2002 season, Saku Koivu was diagnosed with cancer, which could have ended his career (and his life, has a matter of fact). His treatments allowed him to recover and he immediately started training to make a comeback in the NHL. Remarkably, he was able to play the last 3 games of the regular season in which he recorded 2 assists. In the playoffs of that year, he scored 4 goals and added 6 assists in 12 games, playing a major role in the first round upsetting of the then favored Boston Bruins. This incredible accomplishment was recognized by the NHL who awarded him the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy at the end of the season.
He is a great source of inspiration for everybody and now gives back to the Montreal community (where he received his treatments) by donating time to cheer up those who are afflicted with cancer, especially children. He also has a foundation (the Saku Koivu Foundation) which is dedicated to gather money to provide the Montreal General Hospital with a PET/CT Scan machine used in diagnosing and treating various illnesses. He always says that American cyclist Lance Armstrong was a great source of inspiration for him. Armstrong won the Tour de France after recovering from cancer.