Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A Tribute to Peter Forsberg

by Jes

peter forsbergDespite the fact that I deride Swedish hockey players, I've always had a serious man-crush on Peter Mattias Forsberg. If I had to look like a celebrity, I'd choose Forsberg, or Jiri Slegr. (We're no strangers to love)

What defines the standard 'Canadian' hockey player that we hold in such high regard? Looking at Forsberg, he's probably the most Canadian hockey player of all time.

You know the rules, and so do I: Drive, heart, grit, determination ... Forsberg has all of that. Who else could come back from a broken ankle, broken spleen, and the numerous other injuries to be as effective as Forsberg. Mere mortals would have given up, but Peter Forsberg is no mortal.

Despite all of the pain, he'll never give up.

Clutch? Forsberg is that. We know he's one of the best NHL playoff performers of all time, and we can't forget how he pwned Canada at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games.

Selflessness? Yep. Forsberg dishes out plenty of assists, and always looks to set up his friends, rather than selfishly shoot the puck like Alexander Ovechkin or Pavel Bure. In terms of team players, Forsberg has always given it his all and never worried about personal glory. A full commitment, is what I'm thinking of.

Let's took a look back at the career of Peter The Great. You wouldn't get this from any other guy.


Peter Forsberg, is one of the most easily recognized names in the sport of ice hockey. He was a great from the minute he joined the NHL in regular season, but he was driven far above the rest when he played (and helped win) the Stanley Cup Playoffs while suffering from internal bleeding from a ruptured spleen. After winning the Cup he landed in the hospital to have it removed.

The next season, Forsberg virtually disappeared. The following season he brushed off the Avalanche (and the $11-million paycheck) because he didn't think he was prepared to get back into the game. The game we all love, the game Peter loves, had taken its toll. Forsberg headed home to frozen Sweden in a town so far north that it has only hours of moderate daylight in winter. Most of us were resigned to Peter being gone from the game -- a thought we hated but could not affect. I remember when ESPN's article, "Finding Forsberg" came out... I wasn't sure if I wanted them to find him or to leave him alone.

Peter is the essence of hockey. He is an outstanding two-way player with grit and determination and a true love and passion for the game. When the Hockey Gods got together to create the mold Peter eventually became, they knew it was a one-shot deal... Forsberg is a one-of-a-kind.

...and now that the Canucks are basically going to flop in the playoffs (Should they make it), I can finally jump on the Avalanche bandwagon and outwardly appreciate Peter, rather than curse his name outwardly while inwardly coveting him.


  • Only Swedish player to have won the Stanley Cup, World Championship, and Olympic Hockey Gold on two occasions.
  • Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers as the 6th pick in the 1991 NHL Draft.
  • Traded to Quebec Nordiques for Eric Lindros (et al)
  • Scored the penalty-shot goal that won Sweden the Gold in the Winter Olympics in 1994
  • Played first NHL season in 1994-95 (strike-shortened season) grabbing 50 points and the Calder Trophy
  • In 1995, became a Colorado Avalanche when the Nordiques moved to Colorado, scored 116 points during the regular season and 21 points in 22 games to help win the Stanley Cup
  • 2001 heralded a second Stanley Cup with the Avalanche but a ruptured spleen for Forsberg
  • In 2002-2003 Forsberg led the league with 106 points and awarded the Hart Trophy

    Material shamelessly stolen from 'hockeychic'
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