Koivu sets the record straight

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu sat down with The Gazette’s Red Fisher to clear the air over the recent controversy surrounding comments he made in La Presse last month. And Koivu insists he has not asked for a trade because of the firestorm surrounding the comments.

The paper reported that Koivu said the Habs should make the playoffs but wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup. But Koivu insists that is not exactly what he said.

“We’ve had some ups and downs,” Koivu said he told the La Presse reporter. “We lost some players and it’s too bad. We didn’t get any top-tier players, but we have a bunch of really good young guys who’ve improved a lot during the last two years and now it’s their time. We’re going to make the playoffs. I’m very confident we are. But on paper, we’re not favourites to win the Stanley Cup.”

Somewhere along the line, his words were lost in translation, Koivu insists.

“English isn’t my first language, but I don’t see it as a big difference. What I meant was you make the playoffs and from there, everything is open. If you ask any experts, nobody is picking us to even make the playoffs!”

Here’s what Fisher had to say about Koivu’s comments, taken from today’s article in The Gazette:

Here’s what I’m really saying about the firestorm erupting from the Koivu interview: you’ve got the wrong guy if you’re looking for someone who says only things the media want to hear.The Koivu I know will look you in the eye and tell you what he’s really thinking.

What you get from Koivu is everything he’s got – on and off the ice. No excuses. No lies. No phony grandstanding. No whimpering. No pointing a finger at teammates. No complaints that the media is doing him wrong.

I believe Koivu when he says: “The elements are there for us to be a lot better than we were last year. By having our young guys being older … I think with the guys that we added, we’re going to be a team that’ll win more games when were not playing our best.”

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