A lot of people get up in arms about great players hanging on well past their primes – and let’s face it, Johnny Unitas never should have been a San Diego Chargers QB – but ultimately it’s their call. After all, your time on the ice or field is harshly limited compared to other professions; why leave with the nagging feeling you had something left?
Peter Forsberg can safely say that he gave it his best shot in an inevitably failed two-game comeback with the Colorado Avalanche this season. Even in an era where the Teemu Selannes and Nicklas Lidstroms of the world remain high-end players past 40, it was obvious that Forsberg should hang ’em up for good at 37.
It’s not too surprising that Forsberg decided to stay involved with the game he loves, though. NHL.com reports that Foppa will join his Swedish Elite League team MODO’s front office, with his official title being assistant GM. You could put 2/3 of one of the best possible lines of the ’90s together with Forsberg and head GM Markus Naslund, by the way.
Here’s what Forsberg said about the first job of his post-playing days.
“When I thought about my future, it was obvious that I somehow want to help MODO,” Forsberg said, according wire reports. “This role seems perfect. It will be fun to work with Mark and the rest of the team building the future MODO.”
Before debuting with the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, Forsberg spent part of six seasons playing for MODO. He returned to the team during the NHL’s work stoppage in 2004-05 and played 26 games over two seasons with the club from 2008-2010. In 708 games with the Quebec/Colorado franchise, Philadelphia and Nashville Forsberg tallied 249 goals and 636 assists while compiling an impressive plus-238.
Forsberg will cover scouting and marketing-related duties as MODO’s assistant GM.
Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.
The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.
Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.
“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”
Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.
“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”
OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.
The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.
Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.
The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.
Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.