Tuesday, April 01, 2008

 

A Hockey Rants 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.

Just remeber, Peter Forsberg will never, EVER:

a. Give you up
b. Let you down
c. Run around
d. Desert you

---

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.

Accomplishments:

  • 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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    Comments:
    1) You had us until your silly swipe at Ovechkin. We know of your love for everything Sid, but a gratuitous slam like that is unworthy of ya. LOL In his first 2 seasons especially, Alex had virtually no one to pass to!
    2) For the record despite his amazing stats goal scoring wise, Ovechkin hold the Caps record for assists by a rookie, is currently second on the team in helpers, and is tied with Crosby in the overall NHL. Not bad for a puck hog, eh? ; )
    3) As for your original point, yes Forsberg helped shatter that jingoistic Don Cherry "Chicken Swede" perception once and for all
     
    Supporting the Avs? You lied to me. You said you were posting a serious article today. :p
     
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
     
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
     
    Sorry about the removed posts earlier.

    Some other Swedes that were tough as nails

    There was Ulf Samuelsson. Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers.1,080 career NHL games, scoring 57 goals and 275 assists for 332 points. He accumulated 2,453 penalty minutes over the course of his career.

    Tomas Sandström who played with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim? He played 983 NHL games, 394 goals, 462 assists for 856 points and 1,193 career penalty minutes. He also won a Cup with Detroit.
     
    Nice April fools joke. Good one.
     
    I'm giving up on Peter because:

    a. he's been hurt before
    b. I don't want him (on my fantasy
    team) no more

    It's going to take a strong, strong fan to give up Forsberg but I'm up to the task.
     
    Good one, RD :)
     
    Heh, nice Rickroll.
     
    Grr. Rickrolled in text. Curse you.
     
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