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Monday, February 25, 2008

Welcome Home, Forsberg! We Missed You.

Peter Forsberg--one of the most exciting and skilled players to ever wear the Avalanche jersey will be coming back to Denver. He may be the spark that the Avs need while they mount a playoff run, or he may be a sentimental favorite who is too far past his prime to make much of a difference.

I’m voting for option one.

“We’re proud to announce to our fans that Peter Forsberg has decided to come back and play with our franchise where he’s enjoyed so much success early in his career,” Giguere said. “His addition should complement our roster and will bring our team to an even higher competitive level.”

Forsberg, 34, spent nine seasons with the Avalanche and won two Stanley Cups, an NHL scoring championship and the Hart Trophy as league’s most valuable player along the way.

But the oft-injured center has been battling foot, ankle and skate problems, and as recently as a week ago advised teams through his agent, Don Baizley, that he was unlikely to return to the NHL this season.

“Over the last several months, I have worked extremely hard in order for this to be possible,” said Forsberg, who has been skating with his former Modo team in Sweden. “I am looking forward to putting this jersey on again.

“I have so many great memories of my playing days in Denver. I’m excited about helping my new teammates and former teammates in the coming weeks, and hopefully I am able to do that in the very near future.”

The truth is that he hasn’t played much over the last few years and his injury problems are well-documented. But coming in at the tail end of the season, playing in essence a shortened season, might work well for an Avs who have struggled this year and for Forsberg to get a better idea of what he can expect from his surgically repaired ankles next year. As experiments go, this one might not pay big dividends for either party.

On the other hand, there are few players that had the strength, speed, puck handling skills, and aggressiveness of Forsberg. Paired earlier in his career with the great Joe Sakic, Forsberg was about as fun to watch as any player in the league.

With Joe Sakic coming back from injury (along with the young, brilliant Stasny), Jose Theodore playing well, and the return of Forsberg, the rest of the Avs season is sure to be interesting.

Read the story.

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