Canucks general manager Dave Nonis may share Naslund’s day dreams but tempers them with a dose of reality.
The Canucks have been mentioned as a team Forsberg could be interested in playing for if he decides to wave the no-trade clause in his contract and asks to be moved before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.
“I think every forward in the league would love to play with him,” Naslund said after the Canucks practice Tuesday. “He is, in my mind, maybe the best passer in the last 10 years.
“He’s a superstar. If he’s healthy, I think he makes a lot of difference.”
Nonis was careful not to mention Forsberg by name when asked about a possible deal, since the 33-year-old Swede is still under contract to the Philadelphia Flyers.
But the Canucks GM said he wouldn’t strip his team of young talent or prospects for a player who becomes a free agent in July.
It’s expected the Flyers would want two first-round draft picks and young player to part with Forsberg.
“If there is a deal that makes sense for our hockey team, that makes us better, regardless of who it is, we would do it,” said Nonis. “If it’s a deal that decimates our reserve list, takes all of our top prospects, requires players off our team along with those picks and prospects, then I think it’s highly unlikely that we would do that for any rental player.”
On another issue, Nonis said no one has approached the Canucks about the possibility of playing an NHL game in London next season.
The Los Angeles Times has reported the Kings will play two games in England. The Canucks and Anaheim Ducks were mentioned as possible opponents.
“You have to be open and listen to what’s being bandied about,” said Nonis. “At this point we have not been approached at all and I think it’s unlikely we would be.”
Forsberg seems to have found a skate that fits his surgically repaired right foot and looks to have returned to his old form. He has 11 goals and 29 assists in 21 games this season.
If Forsberg is looking for familiar faces on a new team, he would feel at home with the Canucks.
Naslund and Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin all come from Forsberg’s home town of Ornskolosvik, Sweden. Defenceman Mattias Ohlund is from Pitea, Sweden.
Naslund and Forsberg are old friends while the Sedins played with Forsberg in MoDo during the lock-out season.
“He loves to win and he hates to lose,” said Daniel Sedin. “He’s a great passer. He’d rather pass than shoot. Something happens every time he’s on the ice.”
Naslund said he hasn’t talked to Forsberg personally, but the Vancouver captain sounded doubtful the Canucks would make a deal for his countryman.
“If Peter goes somewhere it’s going to be a big thing for the team that lands him,” he said. “I think it takes a lot to make trades happen nowadays.
“He has to OK the trade. We’ll see.”
Naslund was more concerned about the Canucks game Wednesday night against the Wild in Minnesota. The Canucks are 1-4 against Minnesota so far this season.
Heading into Tuesday night Calgary, Vancouver and Minnesota were all tied for the lead in the Northwest Division with 66 points.
“They are playing well right now,” said Naslund. “We know it’s a crucial game for both teams.
“We have to make sure we have an A effort.”
Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo said the Canucks can’t afford to make any mistakes against the Wild.
“We have to play a disciplined game, no turnovers, stay out of the penalty box,” he said. “They have some guys that can score.
“We have to play a solid road hockey game for 60 minutes.”