NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Minnesota Wild committed to building their team around Mikko Koivu by awarding the Finnish forward a seven-year contract extension following the best offensive season of his career.
Koivu, who won a bronze medal with Finland at the Vancouver Olympics this year, set career highs last season with 22 goals and 49 assists and will be looked upon to lead the team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
"It's a milestone day in the history of the Minnesota Wild," Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher said on the team's website (http://wild.nhl.com/) on Thursday.
Koivu, who was drafted sixth overall by Minnesota in 2001, was named the team's permanent captain in October.
(Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Ransom)