Ankle issues reportedly continue for Forsberg; NHL future again uncertain
Many general managers were preparing to travel to Finland to scout out Peter Forsberg in the upcoming Karjala Cup. But those execs likely got their answer without traveling a mile.
According to a report from The Globe and Mail, Forsberg left the ice after a Monday practice with the Swedish national team, saying his ankle "doesn't feel good" and prompting him to pull out of the event altogether.
Citing "two Swedish ice hockey sources," the Canadian newspaper reported that Forsberg left the ice after about an hour and told reporters he didn't pass his "personal test." He apologized to fans who bought tickets for the Karjala Cup, an annual event between Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic. He then reportedly told the media that he realized he "made a fool of himself" and said, "I just can't do it."
Forsberg's appearance at the Cup was considered by many to be a litmus test as to whether the forward would return to the NHL. Detroit, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Dallas, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Colorado were all among the teams interested in Forsberg's progress. Now, his potential NHL return seems to be on hold, again.
"I have to say, I've never been so close to saying my career is over right now," Forsberg was quoted as saying in The Globe and Mail.
When healthy, many consider Forsberg to be one of the best players in the world. But, that's always been the issue with the forward -- his career has been plagued by injuries.
He's had on-and-off-again groin injuries while he was with the Flyers and later battled an "upper-body injury" that briefly sidelined him while he played with the Predators. He also had hernia surgery in August. Forsberg's biggest hurdle, one that played a part in him missing 64 games over two seasons, has been nagging ankle injuries that forced him to have surgery on both feet. The most recent procedure has been on his right foot.
Forsberg, 34, became an unrestricted agent when the Predators' playoff run ended in the first round last season. Forsberg had 55 points in 2006-07, 15 of those after Philadelphia traded him to Nashville in February for two players and two draft picks. Nashville was 10-4-3 when he was in the lineup, but couldn't help the Predators avoid a second consecutive first-round loss to San Jose in five games.
Forsberg, drafted by Philadelphia in 1991 but dealt to Quebec in 1992 in the Eric Lindros trade, was the NHL's most valuable player with Colorado in 2003. He helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.