Adam Proteau will return Sept. 3. In his absence, the The Hockey News.com will feature several guest bloggers. Up today is The Hockey News’s Ryan Kennedy.
One of the more intriguing question marks this summer has been the ultimate destination of Peter Forsberg.
Detroit? Vancouver? MoDo? A La-Z-Boy recliner?
So far, Foppa has been coy on the subject, only telling Sweden’s Aftonbladet that he has 31 flavors to choose from (Every team in the NHL, plus his hometown MoDo club, which kind of tastes like rum raisin) and that his foot is still too sketchy to commit.
Ask any young European player who their idol was growing up and there are basically two answers: Jaromir Jagr and Forsberg. As I love to point out, Foppa had a postage stamp issued in Sweden, featuring his famous 1994 Olympic shootout goal as a 22-year-old.
His impact on a team can be season-altering, if the Forsberg of old Â– the one who doesn’t need new skates every three games to prop up his wonky wheel Â– shows up. The drive is apparently still there, so this is strictly a case of physical ability.
Here’s a ranking of Forsberg’s most likely destinations:
1. Colorado Â– His best days came with the Avs, where Foppa helped the Avs win two Stanley Cups and carved out the bulk of his legacy.
Colorado has some cap space (not that Forsberg is going to haggle over salary at this point), as well as a fun mixture of friendly faces (Sakic, Hejduk) and blossoming youngsters (Stastny, Wolski, Budaj).
One more season in Denver would be a nice bookend to a Hall-of-Fame career.
2. Vancouver Â– Buddy Markus Naslund is really trying to get Forsberg to jet out to the West Coast, which conveniently would help revive Naslund’s moribund career at the same time.
Besides Naslund, the Canucks boast the Sedin twins and Mattias Ohlund, all Swedish nationals. Forsberg played with Naslund and the Sedins during the lockout with MoDo.
This would also give Vancouver some semblance of a balanced attack; sparing the Sedins a year of opponents operating on the idea that whaling on the duo will eliminate Vancouver’s entire offense.
3. MoDo Â– Yeah, I’m putting MoDo third. You know why? Because that’s whom Forsberg is skating with right now and he keeps mentioning that the team’s in the running.
Forsberg would get to play at home, he wouldn’t have the long-distance travel schedule of the NHL and he doesn’t have anything left to prove in North America, so why not just play for love of the game?
The Others: Detroit and Ottawa have both come up in media reports as possible destinations, but for pretty random reasons. Detroit boasts a lot of Swedes, none of whom really hang out with Forsberg that much, and Ottawa’s pitch seems to be Â‘well, we’re a really good team, why wouldn’t he want to play for us?’ Both squads have some cap space and are legitimate Cup contenders. Foppa will have to decide why he is coming back and what his goals areÂ…
FEELING PECA-ISH?…As talks with the Rangers have stalled, uber-free agent Michael Peca is reportedly chatting with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
For the Jackets, this would mean another high-profile name in Columbus, but I’m not sure of the big payoff. Peca provides more defense than offense and has a bad streak of injuries going.
The Jackets already have Adam Foote and Duvie Westcott, two players who have been bitten hard by the injury bug in recent years.
Not that I fault new GM Scott Howson, but things already look bleak in Columbus and the season doesn’t even start for over a month.
I wouldn’t count out Philly if they can find cap space.