Ex-MVP Forsberg won't return to NHL this season

Updated: February 19, 2008, 1:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Philadelphia Flyers -- or any other NHL team -- won't be adding the two-time Stanley Cup winner and former MVP Peter Forsberg to their roster this season. Forsberg, who has not played since ending last season with Nashville, decided Monday he was not healthy enough to attempt a comeback.

Peter Forsberg

Forsberg

His agent, Don Baizley, told teams Forsberg did not have enough confidence in the strength of his surgically repaired right foot to play this season.

"He's been hopeful that he would get the level of confidence that he needed, but he can't," Baizley said by phone. "I don't know how close or how far away he feels. He was hopeful up until this weekend that he would be able to do it."

General manager Paul Holmgren had wanted to sign Forsberg ever since the former Flyers center decided to train for a possible return to the NHL. Forsberg, who spent 1½ seasons with the Flyers, has been rehabilitating in Sweden and practicing with his hometown club, Modo.

"His agent called us earlier today and said the foot just isn't right," Holmgren told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I feel bad for Peter. He really wanted to come back and play. It's a disappointment for us, a disappointment for the fans and a disappointment for the league as a whole."

Baizley said Forsberg, who is an unrestricted free agent, had not made a decision about attempting a comeback next season.

Before Monday's news, Forsberg had rejected the Ducks, Stars, Red Wings, Predators, Flames, Penguins and Sharks, which left the Flyers, Avalanche, Senators, Canucks, Blackhawks and Wild in the running for his services, according to numerous reports.

It seems Philly could have used the 34-year-old Forsberg more than most. Not even a month ago, the Flyers talked about earning a No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Now Philly finds itself in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.

"We were never counting on this," Flyers president Peter Luukko told the newspaper. "To Peter's credit, he made it very clear from the outset there was always the uncertainty [of coming back]. It's disappointing for everyone."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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