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Legendary sports writer Red Fisher: "A minus is that Saku Koivu is gone. In recent seasons, he has had a target on his chest for all of the wrong reasons, and you know what they are. No current player wore the jersey with more pride. None wanted more to start and finish his career wearing it. Year after year, he was at or near the top of the Canadiens' points list. He delivered all he had on the ice and gave back to the community more than any player - yet that wasn't enough. I have covered this team for more than a half-century, and I cannot recall a night to match the excitement when he returned to the lineup after missing the first 79 games of the 2001-02 season because of his life-threatening battle with cancer. I can't recall any Habs crowd more giddy with pleasure welcoming a player back. The noise erupted from the standing men, women and children even before the first of the Habs had stepped onto the ice, and grew and grew as one player followed another: Joe Juneau ... Craig Rivet and then Koivu. And now, there was no longer a noise in the Molson Centre, but wave upon wave of thunder engulfing it. "Saku! Saku! Saku!" He stood there at the blueline, along with the rest of the starting lineup. Then, with the noise washing around him, Koivu skated to José Theodore, hugged him and said: "C'mon, let's do it." Koivu skated to the blueline, and it was only then that he removed his helmet, the lights glinting off his golden short spikes of hair - and all the while the screaming thousands stood there welcoming back one of their own seven months after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. "Saku! Saku! Saku! He raised his stick, waving it like a wand signalling the magic of this moment - and who can say it wasn't on this night only moments away from the Habs' 80th game of the season And then ... another soaring moment: the Ottawa starters skated to their bench, leaving Koivu alone with his starting colleagues. "Saku! Saku! Saku!" Now he's gone - and I'll miss him greatly. So will Canadiens fans."

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