Peter Forsberg Bored with Retirement?

Darren HeitnerSenior Analyst IJanuary 27, 2009

Everyone loves a good comeback. 

Michael Jordan, Dion Sanders, and Mario Lemieux each made noteworthy comebacks after a measurable period of retirement.

For the second year in a row, future Hall of Fame hockey player Peter Forsberg is thinking about another comeback

Forsberg’s return to the NHL last year did not go so well for him.  After waiting until there were 18 games left in the season to return to Colorado, he managed to play in only nine regular-season games.  He also missed three out of four games in the second round of the playoffs. 

Forsberg’s style of play is gritty; he’s known for his finesse and scoring, but he loves to muck it up in the corners.

Making a comeback in professional sports is extremely difficult.  Very few players try, and very few players see much success in their comeback.  Forsberg’s physical style of play, which led to his injury-laden career, will make another comeback even harder.

So what does this mean for Forsberg’s agent, Don Baizley?  He’ll have a hard time finding Forsberg a roster spot, even though he’s done so before. 

First, Baizley is limited to legitimate playoff contenders and can probably rule out the front runners (San Jose, Detroit, Boston, etc.).  So out of 30 teams, rule out at least 10 of them. 

Second, Baizley will have to convince teams that Forsberg’s potential to contribute makes up for the strong possibility he will get injured again. 

Third, Baizley will have to dispel the assumption that a late-season addition to a team will shake up a team’s chemistry on and off the ice.  Therefore, Forsberg’s former teams—Colorado, Philadelphia, and Nashville—will be the best bet. 

Last year, Forsberg’s agent said in February that a return would be unlikely.  Right now, any chatter Baizley can create regarding Forsberg is good.  Get him in the news.  See how fans and teams react.  He’ll sell tickets, that’s for sure. 

But most persuasive is the fact that Forsberg averages over a point per game in the playoffs.  Teams that still have a shot at the playoffs and need to sell more tickets will show interest in Forsberg and a successful comeback would be another boost for the NHL.

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