Now that Peter Forsberg has completed his participation in the Karjala Cup for Sweden, speculation is growing over his future plans, particularly which NHL team he might sign with should he stage another comeback.
The Denver Post reported Forsberg wasn’t plagued by pain in his surgically-repaired right foot in the tournament, but his play wasn’t up to his standards. If he does decide to return to the NHL the Post suggested it could be another month or two before he’d be ready to suit up.
It’s uncertain if Forsberg will return to the Colorado Avalanche for a third time as Avs management hasn’t professed any interest.
The Ottawa Sun reported the Senators were curious, but depending on his salary demands might lack the cap space to sign him. The Sun suggested Forsberg would seek a one-year, $4 million contract, which would be pro-rated based on this time of return.
The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers sent scouts to watch Forsberg’s performance in the Karjala Cup while the Philadelphia Flyers continue to express concern about his health.
The Toronto Star suggested the Maple Leafs could use a center like Forsberg, but have no interest.
For now, Forsberg intends on taking more time to improve his game and has instructed his agent not to field any contract offers.
The longer Forsberg takes to make a decision on his future the more he’ll feature prominently in the NHL rumor mill.
• As Anaheim Ducks goaltender J-S Giguere makes his return this week from a groin injury, his future with the team has come under media scrutiny.
The Orange County Register reported that sources are claiming there were preliminary talks between the Ducks and the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding a trade of Giguere, although nothing is believed to be imminent.
Giguere going to Toronto has been a regular feature in the rumor mill as such a move would reunite him with former Ducks GM Brian Burke and goaltending coach Francois Allaire.
Leafs management supposedly has lost confidence in former starter Vesa Toskala and would love to acquire Giguere to provide stability in net, as well as a mentor for youngster Jonas Gustavsson, while the Ducks aren’t keen to keep Giguere and his expensive contract in a backup role.
Giguere added more fuel to the fire in an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, saying he’d rather retire than be a backup. When asked if he’d been approached about waiving his no-trade clause he referred that question to GM Bob Murray, whose refusal to comment will only serve to keep the rumors alive.
Giguere was quick, however, to clarify those comments a couple of days later, telling the Register he was merely being sarcastic about retirement, didn’t wish to force Murray’s hand and remains focused on staying in Anaheim and winning back his starter’s job.
While a Giguere-for-Toskala swap has been kicked around by rumor-mongers for several weeks, one would think if such a swap were that easy it would’ve happened by now.
As long as Giguere wants to remain with the Ducks there’s no chance he’ll be traded this season or next.
• Injuries have taken a toll upon the respective rosters of the Islanders and Rangers.
The Isles lost defenseman Radek Martinek to a torn ACL in his right knee and while GM Garth Snow intends to replace him with Freddy Meyer in the short term he hasn’t ruled out a possible trade.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have been hit hard at center. Chris Drury was recently waylaid by a concussion courtesy of a Curtis Glencross elbow in a game against the Calgary Flames while second line center Brandon Dubinsky is out with a broken bone in his right hand.
New York Post columnist Larry Brooks suggested the Rangers’ options outside the organization were slim due to their limited cap space, although they could get some wiggle room if Dubinsky goes on long-term injury reserve.
The Isles could address their situation via trade if Rick DiPietro returns to the roster as it’s believed they’ll shop goaltender Martin Biron once DiPietro is back in action. Though that could be at least another two weeks away.
• Defenseman Chris Chelios might find himself back with an NHL team in the near future.
Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney expressed interest in Chelios – currently playing for the American League’s Chicago Wolves – as a possible short-term replacement for injured blueliners Ed Jovanovski and Zbynek Michalek.
Maloney said he hasn’t talked contract with Chelios and it’s yet to be determined if he’s willing to play for Phoenix or prefers an NHL team closer to Chicago so he can remain near his family.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays and Thursdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.