Former Habs captain helped raise funds for the MGH's first PET/CT scanner

This city’s love affair with former Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu continues to be as strong as it was four years ago when he left to play for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

So much so that members of the Mighty Ducks organization decided to put together a video during a 2013 visit to Montreal that tells his story.

The video, which was broadcast by media in Anaheim, covers everything from Koivu’s 10 seasons as captain of the Canadiens and his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2001, to his emotional return to hockey in 2002 and of course his generosity in helping raise $8 million through his foundation for the Montreal General Hospital’s PET/CT scanner, a first for Montreal. At the time, the nearest PET/CT machine was located in Sherbrooke, where Koivu had to travel for his scans.

The scanner allows doctors to diagnose cancer earlier and better manage patients throughout their treatment. The scanner at the Montreal General Hospital serves between 2,500 and 3,000 patients each year.

“There are thousands and thousands of people who have gone through it,” Koivu says in the video. “Every time you think about it, it makes you feel that you’ve helped somebody, and that’s a very special feeling.”

Ron Collett, president of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, which also manages the Saku Koivu Foundation, says donations continue to come in that have allowed the hospital to upgrade and maintain the machine.

Donations can be made at