Monday, 14 July 2008

Now It Feels Like Summer

With all the free agency signings and hooplah surrounding who went where, there was little said about one of the free agents who could be a huge risk or a huge payoff. Peter Forsberg of the Colorado Avalanche entered free agency on July 1 and, from what has not been reported, may not have gotten any offers. Really, though, why would anyone take the risk? His best days are long past him, and he can barely walk, let alone skate. If I were an NHL GM, I wouldn't even look at him to be a viable option at this point in his career. To me, it just doesn't seem like summer without hearing about the impending Peter Forsberg Sweepstakes. With the news today, it sounds like Peter Forsberg isn't quite done yet.

According to a TSN story today, Mr. Forsberg "will require months of rehabilitation to get back on the ice". He will be rehabbing his injured right foot until Christmas, at which time his doctors will determine whether or not he can play hockey again.

According to the TSN report, "Swedish newspaper Expressen is reporting that Forsberg has a muscle problem in his right foot". That right foot has been the major problem with the Swedish star over the last few years, and it appears it isn't getting better. While it was reported that he would likely only want to return to Colorado, you have to wonder if Avalanche GM Francois Giguere is really going to pull a Brian Burke and wait for Forsberg's decision.

Honestly, if Giguere even spends more than a second thinking about this, he deserves to lose his job. I'll bring up Forsberg's medical chart from last year. Put yourself in Giguere's shoes here, and make a decision based upon this:

The guy is a walking band-aid, if he can actually walk. He played in nine of the final 16 games for the Avalanche after sitting out all year rehabbing injuries. This is a guy who decided to take six months off to get himself healthy, yet still took seven games off due to injuries. He played in seven of the ten playoff games the Avalanche played, but clearly was playing in pain and was nowhere near the top of his game.

If I'm Francois Giguere, I'd politely decline Mr. Forsberg's wish to stay with Colorado. For a team that still hasn't received word from Joe Sakic, he'd be the more pressing concern for my team right now if I ran the Avalanche. It would be nice to have Forsberg back in his early-90s form, but it simply isn't going to happen. Ever.

Look forward to retirement, Mr. Forsberg. Playing in the NHL isn't good for your foot, nor is it good to keep the Avalanche on the hook while making a decision. There's no shame in walking away from the game at this point in your career.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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