Remember that possible Peter Forsberg MODO/NHL comeback? It’s over

While many people react to Peter Forsberg’s many comeback attempts with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, those aborted returns should also carry an air of sadness.

That’s because – for all of his injury issues and the embellishing tendency that earned him the sarcastic nickname “Floppa” – he was one of the most captivating hockey talents of the ’90s. A lack of longevity kept him from putting up Joe Sakic-type numbers over the long haul, but surely Colorado Avalanche fans got into some fun debates about which center was better.

The gifted playmaker was attempting another comeback this year, even if it seemed a little desperate. Well, it looks like that pipe dream fizzled out once again, and this could be the last time. TSN reports that MODO general manager Markus Naslund (yes, that Markus Naslund) passed along word that Forsberg’s return bid is over.

According to a story on hockeyespressen.se, Forsberg missed a practice with MODO as the team prepared for a Sunday tilt with AIK. The story said that Forsberg left a message with MODO, which was translated to read: “There will be no comeback – the foot is not for games.”

MODO general manager and former NHLer Markus Naslund confirmed that Forsberg’s comeback attempt was over.

“I’ve had a talk with him today and he simply says that it does not feel good enough for him to build on this,” Naslund said in the translated Swedish report. “It’s not an issue, and it’s important for us to put the cards on the table now so we can get some peace and quiet (around) the team.”

The 36-year old Forsberg has not played in the NHL since a nine-game stint with the Colorado Avalanche in the 2007-08 season. He has battled injury concerns throughout his illustrious career, and a recurring foot injury limited him to just 23 games last year with MODO of the Swedish Elite League.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche often found ways to make it work with the injury-prone pivot, but even those two teams couldn’t allow nostalgia (and admittedly still-impressive productivity in those fleeting healthy periods) override common sense.

It would be a real shame if his career ended this way, but at least he wouldn’t retire with any regrets about leaving anything on the table. Let’s try to focus on the good times for Forsberg, rather than his health issues.

Then again, he’s still only 36 years old, so maybe it’s not over after all? He probably should end it, but it’s his choice if he wants to keep trying. My guess is that he might finally be done, though.

PHT Morning Skate: Ovechkin will be rocking incredible custom skates for Russian Heritage Night

Leave a comment

–With only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, we’re starting to get a better idea of who will be in and out of the playoffs. With that being said, The Hockey News put together a list of five players that could benefit from playing on another team. Devils goalie Cory Schneider is at the top of the list. Schneider’s been solid since joining New Jersey, but the team hasn’t had much success. (The Hockey News)

Erik Karlsson has always been known as an offensive defenseman, but this year, he’s made several defensive improvements to his game. The changes have made him so effective that his head coach, Guy Boucher, believes he should be in the running for a Hart Trophy. (Canadian Press)

–The Washington Capitals will be hosting a Russian Heritage Night tonight. During the pre-game warmup, Alex Ovechkin will be rocking these custom skates honoring his home land and his American home. He’ll be auctioning off the skates too. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

–The New York Islanders trailed the Rangers 2-1 heading into the third period, but thanks to goals by Nikolay Kulemin and Andrew Ladd, they were able to come out on top. You can watch the highlights from last night’s “Battle of New York” by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Vegas GM George McPhee chatted with Sportsnet’s Gene Principe about being able to build a team from scratch. McPhee called the experience “fantastic” and “really neat”. He also discussed his vision for the team and how he’s approaching the expansion draft. (Sportsnet)

–The Detroit Red Wings have been a model franchise for quite some time, but they’ve on the verge of going through some pretty big changes. First, Joe Louis Arena will be closing its doors and secondly, their long playoff streak will be coming to an end this season. Sports Illustrated takes a deeper look at the old barn and the third-longest playoff streak in pro sports. (Sports Illustrated)

–Many people feel like the Calder Trophy race will come down to Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, but Bob McKenzie says there’s more than two worthy candidates because Zach Werenski has been equally good this season. But who is McKenzie leaning toward?

Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

Getty
1 Comment

Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

1 Comment

Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

5 Comments

The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.