"More emotional -- than probably ever," Koivu said. "I know there's a game, but it's about me, and in some ways I don't feel comfortable about that.
"I announced my retirement a few months ago, but for some reason, this feels right. It all makes sense to [be] in front of you one more time. … It's very humbling."
Koivu is tied with the late Canadiens great Jean Beliveau for the longest captaincy of the Canadiens (1999-2009) and his 2002 return to playing after a cancer battle remains one of hockey's most emotional nights.
The Canadiens aren’t expected to retire Koivu’s jersey number, but his time as captain is indeed special, considering the
Saying he lacked the fire to return for this season, Koivu, who turned 40 last month, retired without the fanfare of his former Ducks teammate
He simply took off his skates for the final time after the Ducks’ Game 7
The Ducks ultimately landed new centers
He still lives in Orange County, coaching his son in hockey, but he made it clear Thursday that a big part of his heart remains in Montreal, and expressed happiness at being recognized as he walked through the city's snowy streets.
"There's not a better place to be as a hockey player than in Montreal at playoff time," Koivu said. "I hope you remember me as a great person, as a player who gave it all, who wore the 'C' proudly. … I went through some tough times, but fought to the end."
He said his cancer fight is a significant part of his legacy, saying his ability to bring a cancer-fighting device that helped him to Montreal might be his greatest accomplishment.
"After cancer, I learned to enjoy life more," he said. "I see the world in better eyes."
Koivu said he can envision another meeting between the Ducks and the returning
“If I look at the Canadiens, they’re a dangerous team, and when they get hot at the right time, anything can happen -- they have talent in net with