PITTSBURGH – Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren isn’t optimistic that longtime NHL star Peter Forsberg will rejoin the team this week.
Holmgren travelled to Sweden earlier this month to speak to Forsberg about returning to Philadelphia. Forsberg, a former league MVP who won two Stanley Cups with Colorado, played 1 1/2 seasons with Philadelphia before being traded to Nashville late last season.
Forsberg’s agent, Don Baizley, called Holmgren during the weekend and said Forsberg won’t make any decision for at least a week.
“He has a big decision to make, so he needs a little more time,” Holmgren said Sunday.
The 34-year-old Forsberg hasn’t played this season due to foot and ankle injuries and, until recently, wasn’t dropping any hints that he was considering a return to the NHL. He has ruled out playing for his former Swedish team.
“We seem to be spending a lot of time talking about Peter but, until we actually know he is coming back to the NHL, it is sort of a moot point,” Holmgren said. “I am still not convinced he is coming back to the NHL. A lot of people seem to think that he is coming to the Flyers, but I certainly don’t feel that way.”
However, Holmgren also wasn’t told that Forsberg definitely won’t return to the Flyers.
“Other than the fact that we have not gotten a call and other teams did (that Forsberg isn’t interested in playing for them), well, that leaves us in the game, I guess,” Holmgren said.
Forsberg has 248 goals and 623 assists for 871 points in 697 NHL games. He had 30 goals and 85 assists in 100 games with Philadelphia the previous two seasons.
The Flyers’ injury situation might heighten their interest in a possible Forsberg return.
Left wing Simon Gagne sat out the final two periods of a 4-3 loss Sunday in Pittsburgh with a concussion, his second this season, and will be evaluated Monday. Gagne missed 26 games from Nov. 8-Jan. 8 with the same problem.
Right wing Scottie Upshall (high ankle sprain) was hurt last week and is expected to miss at least several more games.