Colorado Avalanche: Ride Off Into The Sunset, Peter Forsberg
Memories are part of life's allure.
They give us immense joy, unbelievable sadness, and sometimes, a yearning for days past.
As much as I enjoy watching Peter Forsberg, the memories are so much better. One of Sweden's all-time greats needs to hang up the skates for good.
I was a young lad of only 10 when I stumbled upon Forsberg, who, at the time, was making a name for himself as one of the game's best young stars.
Impressed by his incredible playmaking skills and rough edge, I had found a player who I could attach myself to. And I did so in full force.
I collected all of his cards. I still do. Anything with his picture on it, I wanted. And my parents went out of their way to get tickets once when the Avs came to town, just so I could see my idol.
I remember the days when he was the best two-way player on the planet, the best passer since Gretzky, and a guy who would rather go through you than around you. He routinely made plays that made you shout out loud and everyday made the Eric Lindros trade look like a lopsided joke.
No one can forget the dominating performance he put on in the 2003 playoffs after a year off, nearly dragging the Avs to the Finals.
Sadly, those days are gone. A skilled player remains, but the impact isn't the same. Forsberg just isn't healthy enough to be the guy he used to be. Bad feet and ankles have robbed him of the tail end of his career and made him a shell of himself.
He really doesn't have much left to prove or achieve. He has a pair of Stanley Cup championships, two Olympic gold medals (one of which made him practically immortal in Sweden), a Calder Memorial Trophy, a scoring title and an MVP.
He spent nearly a decade as one of the game's best. He's a Hall of Famer and the second greatest Swede ever behind Nicklas Lidstrom.
So I send out this plea to my all-time favorite: Hang 'em up, Foppa. The memories are already good enough.
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