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Forsberg to begin skating with Avalanche

Friday, 01.21.2011 / 4:21 PM / News

NHL.com

Is Peter Forsberg set to return to the NHL?

That question doesn't have an answer as of yet, but Forsberg will practice with the Colorado Avalanche beginning Saturday, the team announced in a statement.

"I need to see where I am physically and practicing with NHL players is the best way to find that out," Forsberg said.

Forsberg will begin skating with the team Saturday morning prior to Colorado's afternoon game against Boston. He last played in the NHL for the Avalanche during the 2007-08 season, putting up 14 points in nine regular-season games and 5 points in seven playoff games.

Injuries, including numerous surgeries to his foot and ankle, have cut short Forsberg's NHL career on several occasions.

A first-round pick by the Flyers in the 1991 Entry Draft who was then dealt to the Nordiques as part of the blockbuster Eric Lindros trade, Forsberg has 249 goals and 885 points in 706 regular-season games with Quebec, Colorado, Philadelphia and Nashville. He also has 64 goals and 171 points in 151 postseason games, winning Stanley Cups with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001.

While some of the Avalanche like Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny have played with Forsberg in the past, taking the ice with him -- even for practice -- will be a new experience for younger players like second-year center Matt Duchene.

"So excited to skate with one of my boyhood idols, Peter Forsberg. One of the most surreal things ever," Duchene wrote on Twitter.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery