And so, it seems, the Flyers' annual flirtation with Peter Forsberg and his sore feet has ended. Thankfully.
Forsberg says today that he won't be coming here to play this year, or anywhere on this continent. The key quote out of Sweden goes like this: "There won't be any NHL this season, that's totally clear. If I can play it will be in the (Swedish) Elite Series and Modo."
To which there is only one logical reply:
The Flyers have built themselves a nice team. They made a great, unexpected run to the semifinals last year and they are positioning themselves for another successful spring. They already have one injury complication -- that is, finding a place for Danny Briere once he returns from his second surgery on his groin/abdomen/sports hernia/whatever you want to call it. That will be work enough, getting Briere ready for the playoffs. They did not need Forsberg sucking all of the air out of the building with every tweak of pain that he feels in his bum right foot.
He is a great player when healthy. He is not healthy. There is no way to know if he is going to be healthy. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has been fixated on Forsberg all along -- before he came back last spring to play in Colorado, and again this year. Holmgren's view seems to be that if he's healthy, he's a big plus. What Holmgren doesn't want to recognize is the downside -- because if he isn't healthy, Forsberg becomes a monumental distraction just by breathing. It isn't even necessarily his fault. It is simply his stature.
The Flyers don't need that, and now they won't have to deal with it.