Peter Forsberg

Peter Forsberg’s jersey retirement ends an era in Colorado

Colorado Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog grew up watching Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy and other greats dominate in burgundy and blue. If there was any doubt that the torch has been passed to the new generation of Avs, that should be put to rest as Forsberg’s number 21 raises to the rafters tonight.

Fittingly enough, the future Hall of Famer’s ceremony will serve as a prelude to a season-opening game against their greatest rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. While the Avalanche have floundered since losing legends, the Red Wings managed to stay relevant with savvy, proactive decisions.

Many people snickered when it became clear that Forsberg would give it one more go last season. The Avalanche didn’t exactly improve his odds by throwing him right back into the fire with back-to-back games and the results were depressingly predictable.

Forsberg retired after those two games while Adam Foote mercifully brought his career to an end this off-season as well. Now the only remnants of that outstanding era can be found in the Avalanche front office, with Sakic ranking as one of the many suits.

It’s up to Duchene, Landeskog, Semyon Varlamov, Erik Johnson and other mostly young players to make impressions of their own. The current Colorado crew is a big wild card, but at least they can turn the page for good on Oct. 8.

Update: Here is video footage of the jersey retirement ceremony. For more emotional Avalanche material, check out the team’s tribute to fallen players and current players wearing Forsberg’s number 21 before the game.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.