Peter Forsberg's comeback to the NHL ended today as the Colorado Avalanche forward retired two games into his season. Forsberg has had chronic foot/ankle problems for a while now, and tried to come back multiple times with the Avs and the Philadelphia Flyers.
I'll leave all the stats and memories to the Avalanche writers, I just wanted to voice my opinion on Foppa.
As a huge Red Wings fan growing up, watching the Wings battle the Avs was the best thing going. The Avs had Sakic, Forsberg, Roy, Foote and Hejduk and the Wings countered with Yzerman, Shanahan, Fedorov and Lidstrom. It really was a great rivalry. The thing is at the time I hated the Avalanche with a passion.
That's pretty self-explanatory. The Claude Lemieux incident, me just despising Patrick Roy, and the playoff battles between the two teams. I never stopped to realize what a great player Peter Forsberg was and what he meant to the game of hockey.
Every player that ever had an injury in any sport should look up to him. His injuries hampered him and we don't even know the half of the pain he went through. All the surgeries and rehab just to play the game he loved. Sometimes pro athletes come back for the money or for the championships. But Forsberg was something more. He loved the game of hockey and no injury was keeping him out of it.
He put in years of work to rehab that ankle. I watched the video of him at his first few practices and he looked fine to me. But he made a decision that was so selfless that I have to admire him. Rather than tough out the season and take up a spot from some young player on the team, he decided he wasn't up to scratch and called it quits.
It's a decision no athlete wants to make; quitting from something out of your control. The best way to go out might be after a championship and old age when you know you have nothing left. The sad part is Forsberg had a lot left if not for his injury. So, as a Red Wings fan that used to dislike Peter Forsberg in the past, I have forever changed my opinion of him. Because of what he did, I will admire him for what he has done for this sport.