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.