Every year for the past three years or so, we the hockey fans are faced with the Annual Forsberg Dilemma. Will Peter Forsberg make an official return to the NHL? And if he does, do you want him on your team?
Seems like a strange question to ask regarding one of the most electrifying players of all time. And yet, because of his ailing body, it is a legitimate concern. It’s generally agreed that if he does make his return to the NHL, it will be with either the Colorado Avalanche or the Philadelphia Flyers. I’m not sure how the Flyers’ cap situation is, but I do know money is not an issue for the Avs, who will actually have to spend money before the end of the summer to reach the cap floor. Let’s take a closer look at the Dilemma.
If he returned to the Avs, he would likely take over at the 2nd/3rd line left wing, the biggest need we have in our forward ranks. When he last played in the NHL, back in 2007, Avs fans remember the impact he had. In 9 games, he scored a remarkable 14 points. Although it has been argued that he is merely a shell of his former self, watching him in the Olympics I’m not so sure. He’s certainly lost a lot of his speed, but his passing abilities are still elite.
The bottom line is, when Forsberg is on the ice, he makes your team better.
Therein lies the problem, and the obvious con to adding Forsberg is his health. If he makes your team better when he’s on the ice, when he’s not on the ice, nursing his chronically, infamously bad ankles, he’s hurting team chemistry. Add on to that the fact that the Avs have made it no secret that they are following a strict youth movement, and Forsberg may not be in the Avs plans this year or in the future.
To be honest, none of this may matter at all. According to reports out of Sweden, Forsberg is having his doubts about being able to play at all.
Personally, Forsberg is my favorite non-goalie in the game. I don’t care if I’ve got an elite Foppa or one that has to shoot electric current into his ankles while he’s on the ice to keep his ankles in place (like he did in 2007), I’m just happy seeing the guy play. Someday we will retire #21 at the Pepsi Center, there’s no doubt about that. Until then, I want Forsberg on my team if he’s willing and able.