A Tribute to Peter the Great

As I sit at my computer screen, staring blankly at the worst performance by a team in Colorado Avalanche history, and I want to get this game out of my mind. I figured the best way was to write a tribute to one of the greatest hockey players to ever play the game. Peter Forsberg finally decided to call it quits today after a career that was full of amazing play and questions of what if? What if Foppa had of played 1,200 games like some of the other greats? What if Foppa wasn’t born with a foot defect that caused pain while skating? What if they found a cure and Forsberg could go back to 100 percent? What if, what if, what if!

I want to start back with the biggest what if of Forsberg’s career and one every Av fan can wonder. What if Eric Lindros decided he wanted to play for Quebec after all and hadn’t been traded? Would the Avs have won the cup? Would they have ever won a cup in their franchise? Would Philadelphia had of won a cup with Foppa? I mean there are so many questions behind Forsberg’s storied career that people don’t realize that Forsberg really could have been the greatest hockey player to play period. I am sorry to let every one know, I may be biased but I truly believe that Foppa was the best when he was 100 percent. Of course the biggest problem was that he wasn’t 100 percent that often. I go back to the game against the Panthers that most people remember. Forsberg gets 3 goals and 3 assists in the third period alone to lead the team to victory. Then you think of all the tough situations that Forsberg’s been put into throughout his career. The guy was tough as nails and always looked to use his body. Could that of lead to some of his injuries, who truly knows? It was a part of his game, and even in his last two games he was all over the ice hitting people and causing trouble for others.

I will say something to what Forsberg said in his press conference today, all he wants people to remember him by is that he always played his hardest every time he went out there. And honestly Peter, I would say that you did exactly that. I can’t remember a single game you didn’t look like you were working hard out there, and when you felt like you couldn’t truly do that anymore, you hung up the skates.

Some people bring in comparisons to Brett Favre with Peter and his decisions to play or not play. But this is completely different and there should never be a comparison between the two. Forsberg had a genetic defect that caused his foot problems. All he wanted to do was figure a way to fix the problem. He loved the game of hockey and all he ever wanted to do was play hockey. It wasn’t about money, fame, or any of that… it was all because he just wanted to play the game.

Forsberg is one of the reasons that I love hockey the way I do, and I am sure there are a ton of hockey fans that will say the same. Whether you loved him or hated him, it is hard to say goodbye to a player that could have been the best. A player that wasn’t able to leave the game on his own terms, but his body stopped him from playing.

In three years that Avs will get another player into the hall of fame (Sakic next year) to join Roy and Borque… and you can bet that I will be at Pepsi Center next year to see the number 21 lifted to the rafters to join his teammates. It will be a sad time at the Pepsi Center to see the complete end to an era of dominant hockey as nearly all the players from the glory days will be gone. And after tonight I can only think about the great times that saw the team competing for the cup each and every year. Now those thoughts are only memories and it will be a bumpy ride for a while, but oh were those days so sweet. Without those days I never become the passionate hockey fan I am today. So I say thank you Peter for an unbelievable career, I am so happy to have been able to see it as a fan!

Tribute video courtesy of hockeywebcaster

So Long Peter The Great! It's Been A Pleasure!