STOCKHOLM – Former NHL forward Peter Forsberg scored less than six minutes into his comeback game but his hometown team Modo lost 4-2 to Frolunda in a Swedish Elite League opener on Thursday.
Forsberg beat former NHL goalie Johan Holmqvist just 5:44 in with a shot between the pads that brought the crowd of 6,596 at Swedbank Arena in Ornskoldsvik to its feet.
“It was a totally bad shot, but that’s probably what fooled him (Holmqvist),” Forsberg said.
Forsberg looked rusty the rest of the way.
“I’m not happy with anything,” he told Swedish website HockeyExpressen.se.
“I have to play better if I’m going back to the NHL. Of course it was nice to score. We’ll see if it will be better or worse against Djurgarden.”
Modo gave the 36-year-old Forsberg a one-week tryout contract. That means he’ll play at least three games. Next up is Djurgarden of Stockholm, the most successful team in Swedish hockey.
“It’s sad to lose a season opener before such a big crowd,” Forsberg said. “I was really nervous for this comeback.”
Forsberg can play with Modo until the NHL season begins on Oct. 2 without jeopardizing a possible comeback in the NHL.
The veteran centre, who won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche and was the NHL’s MVP in 2003, played his first high-level game in 10 months in February. He was sidelined for most of last season after surgery on his right foot.
Forsberg is widely considered to be among the greatest two-way players of all time, known for his prolific offensive skills as well as his tenacious defensive play.
He is one of the few players to win a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal and world championship. He captured his first Olympic gold medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, scoring the clinching goal in a penalty shootout against Canada. Sweden is the defending Olympic champion, having won the gold at the 2006 Turin Games where Forsberg was one of the stars.
Last month, he was named to Sweden’s preliminary Olympic roster for the Vancouver Games in February.
“I’ll play two more games before I decide what’s going to happen,” Forsberg said after his latest comeback. “I have all doors open. Of course, I want to play with Modo, with Sweden in the world championship and the Olympics, and also return to the NHL.”