Saying Goodbye to a Hockey Legend
Sadly, as hockey fans, we have seen quite a few hockey greats hang up the skates recently. Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios, and Rob Blake all announced their retirement prior to the start of the 10-11 NHL season. Mike Modano also pondered retirement himself. It's always sad to see guys like that retire (of course it's sad to see anyone retire to begin with). Those guys all defined a hockey generation and always will. We are lucky enough to have a new generation of superstars at this very moment. But those new stars will not cause us to forget the players of the past we were lucky enough to see play.
Today we say goodbye to another legend. Some people simply call him Peter Forberg, but others affectionately call him Foppa or Peter the Great. Many of us knew that Forberg's days as a professional hockey player were numbered, but today still came as a bit of shock to some. Peter had just signed with Colorado and played just two games. He didn't shine by any means, but we've been taught to never assume anything is over when it comes to Peter Forsberg.
Some may find his repeated attempts at comebacks annoying or Brett Favre-esque, but it's hard to knock a guy who knows nothing other than hockey. Hockey has been his life for so long that it's certainly hard on him to make a decision so huge like it is for any professional athlete. He never did retire until today, so for that I respect his never quit attitude. That is where you have to draw the line at the Favre comparisons. There comes a time when even the most passionate hockey players have to face reality, and that day came today. Forsberg had the sense to call it quits, and you know that he is not going to take that decision back. He is far more respectful than that.
You can try to sum up Peter Forsberg's career in numbers, awards, medals, and Stanley Cups, but that is not enough. I feel sorry for those that have never seen Peter Forsberg play live. You have to watch him to truly appreciate his talent. Thankfully in these days of technology, everyone has their chance at seeing his magic as much as he or she may please.
In his prime, Peter Forsberg was THE greatest player in the world. That can be argued of course, but he's the type of player that I don't think we will ever see again. Some players may draw comparisons, but I don't know if we'll ever see a player with Forberg's hockey sense and vision on the ice. His passing skills were one of a kind and his hands were incredible. He always was magic on the ice.
I am thankful that I got to see Peter Forsberg's magic on a daily basis for a season and a half during his days with the Philadelphia Flyers. Forsberg will always be remembered as a member of the Colorado Avalanche and as a hero in Sweden and rightfully so, but to be able to see him play for a favorite team of mine was very special and something I am forever grateful for.
Hopefully Peter Forsberg is a player that we will all be telling our children and grandchildren about. He truly was a legend. Despite the many jokes and annoyances with him as of late, today is a sad day. Even though the time was certainly right, it doesn't make this day any easier to see Peter Forsberg hang them up.