I guess Peter Forsberg deserves credit for cutting it short. He didn’t look very good in his much-noticed return to the Colorado Avalanche, decided to end his un-retirement before it got worse.
Or before it got embarrassing.
It’s always an ego-driven risk when a player is desperate to go out on his own terms or to prove he can still play. Forsberg was headed down that road and he realized it.
The 37-year-old Swede was arguably the game’s best overall during a couple of his peak years, but that was essentially a decade ago. Back then, Forsberg, Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy and Adam Foote were the leaders of a team that was a league powerhouse for a long stretch.
Foote is still hanging on at age 39 and finishing off what is likely to be his retirement contract, but the others have long hung up their skates, which is what Forsberg had effectively done three years ago.
Forsberg tried to come back with the Avs late in 2007-08 after spending post-lockout time in Philadelphia and Nashville, but he played only nine regular season games and seven more in the playoffs because he could not overcome the chronic struggles with foot problems. Forsberg had actually created an even longer medical history, but the foot issues really plagued him and seemed to be the end his 13-year career.
Still the guy they call Foppa wanted to give it one more shot even and the Avs gave it to him. There was little downside really for the organization because Colorado has been wracked with injuries to its very young lineup this season and Forsberg was getting only the pro-rated minimum.
Besides there’s been much disappointment in Denver, where the Avs were expected to take steps forward after a Cinderella-type season but instead are contending for a lottery pick. No one out there was deluding themselves into thinking Forsberg might have been an answer, because even as he went through a few trial practice sessions in Denver over the last few weeks, he was open about not feeling all that comfortable. Still the thought process was that Forsberg could help a little on the ice and maybe more in the dressing room then. Maybe even sell a few of those many empty seats at the Pepsi Center.
Problem was that Forsberg really had nothing to offer in his two games coming back. He was on the ice for a pair of goals in each while playing only about 17 minutes. Those aren't very good stats, but they are the last ones he’ll take into retirement.
Posted on: February 14, 2011 1:15 pm