Forsberg eager to live up to hype

Updated: August 15, 2005, 7:17 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Peter Forsberg hopes to bring the Flyers the championship Eric Lindros couldn't deliver.

Forsberg, who signed a two-year, $11.5 million almost two weeks ago, toured Philadelphia on Monday, and put on a Flyers sweater for the second time. He wore a Philly jersey after the Flyers selected him in the first round of the 1991 NHL draft, but never played with the team.

"I made sure this time I got a no-trade clause in the deal, so they can't get rid of me," Forsberg joked.

Forsberg was part of the trade that brought Lindros to the Flyers in 1992. Philadelphia sent Forsberg, four other players, two draft picks and $15 million to Quebec to get Lindros.

While Lindros never lived up to high expectations in Philadelphia -- he feuded with management and eventually was traded to the New York Rangers in 2001 -- Forsberg became a perennial All-Star and was the league's most valuable player with the Colorado Avalanche in 2003.

"Our goal is going to be to win the Cup," Forsberg said. "For me, personally, I don't really look around at what people are saying or writing or anything. It's just what we have to do as a group and how we have to achieve that goal. It's a long season and a lot of things have to go right."

Philadelphia general manager Bob Clarke, the captain on the Flyers' championship teams in the 1970s, hasn't stopped smiling since Forsberg agreed to a contract. The Flyers also signed defensemen Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje and Chris Therien before getting Forsberg.

"We think that this is the best player that we've had in years and years in this organization," Clarke said. "At this time in August, we're a great team. We'll see where we are in November, but we're really, really excited to have Peter here with us, and we hope he puts the finishing touches on our team."

The 32-year-old Forsberg has recorded 216 goals and 525 assists for 741 points in 580 regular-season games over parts of 10 seasons. He represented Sweden at the Winter Olympics in 1994 and 1998, and is fourth on the NHL's all-time list for most assists per game.

His arrival in Philadelphia has significantly increased fan interest in the Flyers. The team hired 22 sales and customer service representatives to handle more than 83,000 inquiries for season tickets and game plans.

"Bob Clarke and our entire hockey office have done an incredible job of putting together a top-notch lineup for the upcoming season," Flyers president Ron Ryan said. "The response has been overwhelming and we can't wait to drop the puck."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE