Peter Forsberg to practice with Avs

Updated: January 21, 2011, 5:33 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Peter Forsberg, who won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche but has been out of the NHL since 2007-08, will practice with the team starting Saturday morning.

The Avalanche made the announcement in a news release Friday afternoon.

Forsberg
Forsberg

Because the Avalanche play an afternoon game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, Forsberg won't skate with the full team that morning but it is expected he will attend full team practices in the coming days.

Forsberg, 37, last played in the NHL in April 2008. He signed as a free agent with the Avalanche in March and had a goal and 13 assists in nine regular-season games. He also had a goal and four assists in the team's Stanley Cup playoff run.

Forsberg's agent, Don Baizley, contacted Colorado GM Greg Sherman a couple weeks ago about the possibility that Forsberg could take part in some Avalanche practices, a team source told ESPN.com. Forsberg wanted to test his chronically injured foot and his overall conditioning and felt the only way to accurately assess this was to work out with NHL-caliber players. Given Forsberg's history with the Avalanche -- he was acquired in the blockbuster Eric Lindros trade in 1992 and began his NHL career with the franchise in Quebec City before the team moved to Denver -- it seemed a natural fit and the Avs agreed to allow the 2003 Hart Trophy winner to work out.

"Obviously, our organization has a great history, a great bond with Peter, so we want to help him find out where he's at physically," team vice president Jean Martineau told the Post.

There is no contract between Forsberg and the team.

Forsberg has mulled the idea of returning to the NHL several times, but nagging foot and ankle issues made him decide to stay in his native Sweden and play with league club Modo. He also played with Sweden at the Vancouver Olympics.

The bruising but skillful forward spent nine seasons with the Avalanche before heading to Philadelphia following the NHL lockout in 2004-05. He was with the Flyers for 1½ seasons before being dealt to Nashville, where he played 17 games.

He is a fan favorite in Denver and clearly has fond memories of his time there. He returned to the city in October for the 15th anniversary reunion of the team's 1996 Stanley Cup championship.

Back then, he expressed disappointment at the possibility of being forced to retire not on his terms but because of injuries.

"It's going to be OK when I quit hockey," Forsberg said in September. "I've been prepared that I might have to retire."

ALSO SEE