One of the Oilers' more controversial signings has reportedly retired

Former Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen has apparently called it quits, two seasons after he last played in Edmonton.
Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers
Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

Mention the name of Mikko Koskinen around Edmonton Oilers fans, and the majority are likely to give a negative reaction. Maybe some even wake up at night, having suffered a fevered nightmare where he was back between the pipes for their beloved team.

As much as this was not going to happen back in the real world, we will assume Oilers fans are low key cheering the latest news regarding Koskinen. As per Michael Mazzei of Oilers Nation, the goalie has reportedly decided to retire from playing professional hockey.

The 35-year-old played four seasons in total for the Oilers, most recently in 2021-22. He was undoubtedly one of the more controversial players in team history, albeit not of his own doing per se.

An extension out of the blue

Koskinen originally agreed a one-year, $2.5 million deal to play the 2018-19 season in Edmonton. However, less than halfway through that season, the Oilers made the surprising decision to sign him to a three-year, $13.5 million extension.

There was plenty of confusion by hockey analysts, with the likes of Sportsnet's Mark Spector trying to make sense of the contract extension. In fairness to Koskinen, at the time he was producing a .911 save percentage and 2.78 Goals Against Average (GAA), far outperforming fellow pending unrestricted free agent Cam Talbot.

Regardless, it still seemed like a bold step by general manager Peter Chiarelli, to make such a commitment to a player yet to prove himself in the NHL over any extended period of time. It turned out to be the breaking point for Chiarelli's reign in Edmonton, with him being fired the very next day.

The wrong decision by Chiarelli

Unfortunately for the Oilers, Chiarelli's final decision would not work out, as Koskinen was never able to establish himself as their number on goalie. His 27-12-4 record as a starter in his final season, did not cover up the fact he regressed during his four seasons in Edmonton.

In some respects, the 2009 31st overall draft pick was of similar ilk to Jack Campbell; i.e. a talented player who was just too erratic. Once Stuart Skinner started to show promise, Koskinen's time in Edmonton came to an end.

After leaving the Oilers, the Finland native played in the Swiss National League for HC Lugano. His statistics in two seasons were not particularly inspiring, as he compiled a 25-30-0 record and .900 save percentage.

dark. Next. Oilers players and some of their upcoming milestones. Oilers players and some of their upcoming milestones

In it's own right, Koskinen's time in Edmonton doesn't seem that bad on a peripheral level. A 83-59-13 record in 152 starts (164 appearances in total), a .907 save percentage and 2.98 GAA.

However, these are the type of statistics that you look for from a backup goaltender, not the main guy in net. Koskinen should never have been given a three-year extension when he was, and as much as it wasn't his fault -- who of us would have turned down the deal in the same situation -- it still contributes to his legacy or lack thereof in Edmonton.

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