Former Avalanche Star Peter Forsberg Eyeing NHL Return

James CriderCorrespondent INovember 5, 2009

DENVER - MARCH 04:  Peter Forsberg #21 of the Colorado Avalanche takes the ice for the first time since rejoining the team as they warm up prior to facing the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center on March 4, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche went on to defeat the Canucks 2-1.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Another year, another slew of Peter Forsberg rumors.

The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet is reporting that the former Avalanche star plans to take part in an upcoming tournament for the Karjala Cup.  Once finished, he plans to make a return to the NHL.

When asked if he has any teams in mind, Forsberg said "I think everyone knows the clubs involved."

Looking at this quote, one can safely assume he's talking about the Flyers and the Avalanche, the only two teams Forsberg's signed with in his 13 season NHL career.

Both teams have a lot to offer.

In Colorado, Forsberg can play the role of leader on a young Avalanche team which has stunned the NHL with an 11-3-2 record through 16 games.  There is also the familiarity factor, as Forsberg has played 583 of his 706 career NHL games with the Avalanche.

The Flyers, on the other hand, offer a better chance at the Stanley Cup.  They've come a little slow out of the gate with a 7-4-1 record, but players like Pronger, Richards, and Carter will make them a contender to win the Stanley Cup come playoff time.

Personally, I think the Avalanche have the edge over the Flyers.

Last year when Forsberg announced he wouldn't be playing in the NHL, he made the comments "I considered returning to the Avalanche, but they are struggling and I didn't want to take any space under the salary cap...I didn't want to return to the Flyers after all my foot problems last time I was there."

The question we have to ask is whether add Forsberg improves the Avalanche's situation.

Forsberg will likely command a high salary, he's old (36), and he's incredibly injury prone.  That resume sounds like the exact opposite of the player a rebuilding team would target.

However, Peter Forsberg isn't just any player.

He can do things other players can't.  When he rejoined the Avalanche late in the 2008 season, the team was 8-1-0 in the nine games Forsberg played.

Forsberg himself scored 14 points and was a +7.  His line, which included Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny, combined for an eye-popping 35 points (11 goals) the final nine games of the regular season.

At that time Hejduk was on a long scoring drought, having scored only seven goals in the past 32 games.  Rejuvenated on a line with Forsberg, he scored seven goals the final seven games of the regular season.

Many will argue that the Avalanche are supposed to be getting younger and cutting costs.  But when you're a first place team with the possibility of adding one of the best players in the world to your team, you do it.