It only seems fitting: the Colorado Avalanche will retire Peter Forsberg’s No. 21 jersey against their greatest foe, the Detroit Red Wings. The jersey retirement ceremony will be a part of the team’s opening night ceremony on Saturday, October 8.
Forsberg will become the fourth Avalanche player to get his number retired alongside Ray Bourque (No. 77), Patrick Roy (33) and Joe Sakic (19). He’ll be the eighth player in franchise history to receive that honor if you factor in the Quebec Nordiques’ days.*
You don’t need to be a hockey historian to know that the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry dominated the mid-to-late ’90s in the NHL. Forsberg was a huge force alongside Sakic as the rivalry provided equal parts beauty (Forsberg, Sakic and Roy vs. Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov) and equal parts destruction (Claude Lemieux’s existence, Roy vs. Chris Osgood and more).
Again, it almost seems too perfect that “Foppa” will see his jersey ascend to the rafters against his greatest NHL opponent. PHT will likely carry you through that emotional moment as well as other opening night ceremonies throughout the league.
* Peter Stastny (26), Michel Goulet (16), Marc Tardif (8) and J.C. Tremblay (3) received those honors from the Nordiques.