For the last several years, I've had a recurring dream. I never remember much about what actually happens in the dream, but I always wake up with one clear image in my mind. It's of Saku Koivu, stubbled and haggard, grinning hugely as he accepts the Stanley Cup. In the dream I can see every detail. He's wearing his white CH sweater, and he's got raw knuckles and a stitched cut above his left eye...an eye glistening with tears of joy at finally bringing a championship to his adopted hometown.
That dream has always been bittersweet because it often comes when the Habs are in absolutely no condition to win a Stanley Cup. Now it will just be bitter because even the small hope of one day seeing Koivu accept the trophy as Canadiens' captain has been extinguished.
I don't know what Bob Gainey is trying to do with the Montreal Canadiens, but in letting Saku Koivu walk away, he has successfully amputated the team's heart and its soul. I don't think he can replace those vital parts in the next two months. Or ever.
I wish Saku the best in Anaheim. I just wish the dream had ended differently.