I know I'm prone to knee-jerk reactions, but isn't that in the job description of a hockey blogger? Well, it hurts me to say this, so I'm just going to take the "rip the band aid off" approach and say it. Mikko Koivu might not be as good as we think he is.
Since the lockout it's been accepted fact in the State of Hockey that Koivu was the best player on the team and that he was significantly underrated by hockey wonks league-wide. For years I've spent countless blog entries praising the skills of our captain and wondering how freaking good he would be if he had talent around him. Koivu for Selke and whatnot. Looking back, I think I was slightly off base.
Koivu is a very good checking center, period. He's a good team leader and works harder than any other teammate, but he's not an elite player in the NHL. If I were to rank the Top 20 centers today I'd have to leave #9 off of the list. He's not that skilled offensively and rarely makes his line mates great. On a Cup-contending team he'd be a 2nd or 3rd line center, truth be told. Now that's not to say "he sucks", clearly he doesn't. He does what he does very well, he's just not on the level with the best.
Personally it is very hard for me to admit this and I'm sure I'm in the minority around here. I just think it's time we all took a realistic look at this roster and realize what we have.