Forsberg returning to Avs
By Adrian Dater - The Denver Post
CALGARY, ALBERTA — He's back. Peter Forsberg is back with the Avalanche. It's true. The Avs today stealthily announced the news that Forsberg — one of the greatest players in franchise history — will return to the NHL. Fans have clamored for his return since he announced plans to make a comeback late last year.
Forsberg signed a contract through the rest of this season only, a pro-rated deal worth $5 million. "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," said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere. "His addition should complement our roster and will bring our team to an even higher competitive level."
Forsberg said he has "worked extremely hard" the last several months for a return to Colorado. "I am looking forward to putting this jersey on again," Forsberg said. "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."
Hope of a Forsberg return seemed lost when last week his agent, Don Baizley, said Forsberg likely was done for the season. But, like the smart lawyer Baizley is, he kept the door open slightly. Then, after meeting with a doctor in Sweden and getting yet another new skate fitted for his surgically repaired but troublesome right ankle, Forsberg started to feel better again.
But one Avalanche official said today that serious talks with Forsberg didn't start until this morning. The Avs jumped in with the contract offer after being informed Forsberg felt good enough to give a comeback a try, and the deal was signed not long after. That's how fast things happened.
Forsberg's return will no doubt give the Avs a major boost at the ticket office, where phones have been ringing off the hook since the news broke, the team said. But whether Forsberg's presence is enough to even get the Avs into the playoffs remains to be seen. The Avs, 1-5-1 in their last seven games, are four points out of a playoff spot, with only 19 games left to play. Forsberg, 34, hasn't played since last spring's playoffs, with Nashville, and wasn't the prolific scorer he once was. But having Forsberg around is still better than not having a Forsberg, and the Avs will take any help they can get right now — especially from a franchise legend.