Peter Forsberg: The Reason I Love Hockey


Peter Forsberg is the reason I’m here.

Alright, so my parents are really the reason I’m here, but Peter Forsberg is the reason why I watch hockey and am writing for this website.

I was never a hockey fan until my friend showed me a game on ESPN many years ago. I don’t remember who the Colorado Avalanche were playing, but I remember #21 being an absolute force on the ice. He wouldn’t shy away from contact, even when he had the puck, and he made beautiful pass after beautiful pass to set up his teammates.

I always admired guys who would get their teammates involved over guys who scored. I consider myself an unselfish person, so I love guys who are unselfish on the ice. Forsberg was not only unselfish, he was unselfish and aesthetically pleasing. He played the game with a flare that I couldn’t help but be drawn to.

After watching that game and seeing “Foppa” in action, I knew that I had to become a Forsberg fan, an Avalanche fan, and a hockey fan.

I grew attached to Forsberg. When we would go outside at recess to play soccer, my friend and I would always call hockey players we wanted to be instead of soccer players. I always called Forsberg. When we would play the EA NHL series, anytime I had Forsberg on the ice, I immediately gave him the puck and looked to create something for my virtual teammates.

When I eventually started playing hockey, I did my best to imitate Peter “The Great.” I definitely didn’t have to size to knock people over like him, but I tried my best to imitate his craftiness with the puck. I always set up shop behind the net and told my teammates, “just get open, I’ll find you.” I ended up leading the league in assists one year. All the credit goes to Peter Forsberg.

When Forsberg missed the final two rounds of the 2001 Playoffs, I still had hope that the Avs would win, but I was sad that my favorite player wouldn’t get a chance to shine as the stakes got higher. I was even sadder when he missed the next season, but was overjoyed when he came back in the playoffs and returned to his dominating ways.

In 2002-2003, Forsberg formed my favorite line of all-time with Alex Tanguay and Milan Hejduk. They set the league on fire that year as Forsberg won the Hart Trophy for his 106-point performance. The famed AMP Line became my email address for many years. Feel free to send me a line at I never check it anymore, but I promise it’s me.

I couldn’t believe it when Forsberg left Colorado to join the Philadelphia Flyers, although it did mean that I would get to see him more. I live in Carolina, and the Flyers visit the Hurricanes far more often than the Avalanche do. I didn’t care if Carolina was my hometown team and Peter wasn’t in burgundy and blue, I still wore my #21 jersey to every Flyers/Hurricanes game just to support my favorite player.

I still remember where I was when Forsberg announced that he would be returning to the Avalanche in 2008. I saw the news on and immediately hugged my best friend, also a hockey/Avalanche fan, in our dorm room. Our two friends who know nothing about hockey looked at us like we were crazy. I had the same reaction when he announced his 2011 Avalanche comeback, except this time my best friend wasn’t around to hug.

Even though those comebacks were cut short by injuries, something that unfortunately plagued Forsberg throughout his career, I still tuned in to every game just to see my favorite player on the ice.

It’s a shame that Forsberg’s injuries cost him seasons and cut his career short. At 1.25 points per game, Forsberg ranks 8th on the all-time list. Had he been able to play 1,300 games, he would’ve amassed 1,625 points, which would’ve put him just behind Joe Sakic on the all-time scoring list at number 10. That just goes to show you what a force Forsberg was during his career.

One of my favorite Forsberg plays is when he would skate behind the net and then deliver a blind backhand pass to his teammate, who had the luxury of shooting into an open net as the goalie’s head was turned the other way, thinking Forsberg was coming out the other side. Anytime Forsberg was behind the net, magic was about the happen. Whether he was making a pass out front, using the back of the net to make a self pass, or powering out the side before spinning a forehand shot on net, when Peter was behind the net, the other team was in trouble.

Forsberg was never the fastest player on the ice, but his strength, puck control, vision, and determination made him the most dangerous. He was nearly impossible to knock off the puck, and if you tried to, he’d probably just end up knocking you down.

His psychical style likely contributed to his laundry list of injuries over the years, but that’s just who he was. He played in an era where clutching and grabbing was at its peak, and his mindset was to dish back whatever he took.

I’ll never love another player like I loved Peter Forsberg. Sometimes I watch Forsberg highlights on YouTube just to re-marvel at his brilliance. I even create him on the EA NHL games and use him as my Be A Pro. It’s much more fun being Peter Forsberg than being myself. There are some great players in Avalanche history and there will be even more great players in the future. But no one will captivate me and make me love hockey as much as Peter Forsberg.