Mikko Koivu won’t play for the Minnesota Wild next season. He also won’t commit to hanging up the skates for good. Not yet, at least.

While it’s unlikely that he would play for another NHL team — especially after his comments last season — the 37-year-old Koivu could very well sail off into the sunset and finish his career on the ice in his native Finland.

It’s something he seems to be considering after being notified by Wild general manager Bill Guerin that he won’t be re-signed for next season.

“I think there’s still a lot of questions for myself to make sure that it’s kind of the right thing to do in the future,” Koivu said. “I think there’s some decisions that I’ve made, and then some question marks that I still have. As of right now, I don’t want to say too much just.

“You don’t want to take words back, and I think individually I have to make sure that it’s very clear what I want for the future.”

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In the meantime, Koivu plans to go back to Finland next week; there he will start working out as he would during any other offseason. He wants to be physically prepared if he decides he wants to play again.

“That’s something that I still have to think about and kind of be patient with it, as well, and see if the right opportunity comes,” Koivu said. “It’s just a good start to go to Finland and start skating there and go from there.”

Asked how he found out he wouldn’t be coming back to the Wild, the only NHL team he’s ever known, Koivu said it came during a conversation with Guerin about a month ago.

“It took a couple days, maybe a couple of weeks, to sink in, and kind of mixed emotions when I think about it,” Koivu said. “That’s the nature of the business. Now I have to find a new challenge for myself and go with that.”

Koivu declined to say whether he would have returned has the Wild wanted him.

“I’ve moved on from that,” he said. “Just trying to make the best decision for myself for the future and go with that.”

While it likely won’t fully hit Koivu until he sees the Wild take the ice without him next season, he opened up when asked about some of his fondest memories with the organization.

He will always cherish the friendships he created on the ice, the quiet moments alone in the locker room and the feeling of euphoria at the Xcel Energy Center after a big win. He also will miss the mundane moments like driving from Minneapolis to St. Paul and seeing the city skyline from I-94.

“That brings me memories,” Koivu said. “It’s obviously been a very emotional time. You look back and there’s so much good. Just great, great memories and great, great people around the team over the years.”

Drafted by the Wild with No. 6 pick in the 2001 NHL Draft, Koivu and his stoic stare have become synonymous with the franchise over the past 15 years. He finishes his career with the Wild as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer by a wide margin with 709 points, and it’s hard to imagine someone else coming close to his 1,028 games played any time soon. He also is is the Wild’s all-time leader in faceoffs won (10,354) and faceoff percentage (53.7).

But he never got to properly say goodbye to the Twin Cities. Instead, the final image of his Wild career will be of him somberly leaving the ice after a loss to the Vancouver Canucks in the playoff bubble — in Edmonton.

“You didn’t realize it might have been the last game (at the X) before COVID, and it was,” Koivu said. “You miss that. It wasn’t perfect by any means. Just at the end of the day, it’s nothing I can control.”

What he can control is the next chapter of his life. He has talked to numerous people over the past few weeks as he tries to figure out his future. In the end, though, he knows he will have to make the decision on his own.

“It’s part of the process of getting older as a player, and I know that,” Koivu said. “I don’t think there is a way to prepare for things like these. You can always talk to people (but) you just have to go through it yourself.”