Peter Forsberg was back in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Don’t worry: this isn’t another story about an attempted comeback. Forsberg is safely retired.
Instead, Forsberg was at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night to watch the Flyers take on Washington. He has been living mostly back in his native Sweden since his NHL playing career wrapped up in 2008. It was one of his few trips to Philadelphia since being dealt by the Flyers on Feb. 15, 2007.
He went on to play just 26 more games in the NHL over the next 5 seasons.
“I tried to play a couple times,” Forsberg said with a smile in an interview on Comcast SportsNet. “And then a couple more times.”
Forsberg, 38, said he went back to school in Sweden. He is expecting his first child in June after getting engaged to fellow Swede Nicole Nordin in 2010.
Back in 2007, during the Flyers’ worst season in team history, the Flyers couldn’t get a commitment from Forsberg about his future with uncertainty surrounding his troubled foot. He was traded to Nashville 12 days before the trade deadline for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and a first and third round pick. (For the record: that pick was later traded back to Nashville for the rights to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell).
Forsberg never got his foot just right again. He returned to Colorado in Feb. 2008 to play 9 regular season games and 7 playoff games. He then went back to Sweden for two seasons before giving it one last try with the Avalanche in 2010. Forsberg was kept off the scoresheet in two games before calling it a career.
His number was retired by the Avalanche last Oct. 8.
“I don’t really miss it,” Forsberg said. “But I had a tough ending, because I wasn’t really healthy for the last 8 years. I was struggling. I was kind of ready to retire. Of course, it’s tough to retire because I really love to play. It just didn’t work in the end.
“I still love the game of hockey, but I am getting old now.”
Forsberg played in Philadelphia for just a season and a half after signing a 2-year, $11.5 million deal out of the year-long lockout. But one of the greatest all-around players in hockey history – and one of 3 players ever to win the Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal and the World Championship twice – still looks back on his time on a Flyers uniform with pride.
“I have good memories from here, even if I struggled,” Forsberg said. “I had great teammates, a great organization. I loved to play here because it was such a good hockey town. We came here, we started out really good. But then we went downhill, I was hurt a lot. It’s a great place to play for a hockey player.”
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