The return of Captain Koivu is Saturday night (like I needed to remind anyone). Lots of buzz about what the Habs should or should not do to honour the man who served our team for 13 years. Some say a slideshow of highlights at the beginning of the game, others say that type of honour is reserved for a player once he’s retired.
In my opinion, the slide show is a tired excuse for a ceremony. The Habs marketing team need to do something that says, “Hey Saku, nice to see you again, talk soon k?” Because at the end of the day, Saku Koivu is still playing hockey, and is playing for an opposing team. I understand he just isn’t some other player coming back to play, but let’s save the tear-fest for when he retires, until then, here are a couple of my suggestions that say both “you were a special guy” and “you meant a lot to this city, but you are an opponent right now”:
- Donate $11 from every ticket to the Montreal General’s Saku Koivu wing
- See if Saku is in the starting lineup. If so, have Michele Lacroix announce his name just like he used to
- Don’t make Saku the first star (that makes an already lame process, even lamer). Instead, at the end of the game, have him skate out as an honorary star, and have him ALSO throw pucks to the crowd. If however, Saku truly merits an actual star, then all the better
- When the camera flashes on Saku for the first time, let the crowd do it’s thing. Let the applause happen, and don’t cut in with any pre-contrived fan-enthusiasm music
That’s it. Keep it simple. Let the fans do the honouring and when Saku eventually does retire, fly him in for Saku Koivu night and play that damned slideshow everyone seems so excited about.