NHL News: Mikko Koivu retires, Penguins name Ron Hextall GM and Brian Burke President

Jan 26, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Mikko Koivu (9) skates against the Florida Panthers in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Mikko Koivu has decided to hang up his skates. The 37 year-old announced his retirement from the NHL today, citing not being up to his own standards.

His NHL career ends with 1035 games, 206 goals, 711 points and a +68.

NHL News: Mikko Koivu retires

“This was not an easy decision for me as I have loved every minute of my short time in Columbus and really hoped to be able to help this team accomplish its goals this season, but the bottom line is I haven’t been able to get to the level of play that I need to be true to myself and fair to my teammates, so the time is right for me to retire from hockey,” Koivu said in a statement released by the Blue Jackets.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen called him a “consummate pro” and wished him well. “I’ve known Mikko for a very long time and am proud of everything he has accomplished and how he has represented our club, the Minnesota Wild and Team Finland over the past two decades,” he said. “I wish him many happy years as he transitions into the next chapter in his life.”

The Pittsburgh Penguin make two hires

ron hextall penguins
Hextall new Penguins GM (NHLI)

There was a lot of chatter this morning that Ron Hextall was close to landing the Penguins open GM job. His experience in Philadelphia as their GM no doubt played a role.

“It’s an honor to be joining the Pittsburgh Penguins – an organization well-known for its excellence on and off the ice,” Hextall said. “I look forward to working with ownership, Brian and the entire organization toward the ultimate goal of bringing another Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh.”

Pittsburgh Penguins

However, Hextall won’t be going it alone as his boss was hired today as well. Bombastic TV personality and former GM himself, Brian Burke is now team president.

That’s going to be some team.

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