Five-time NHL All-Star Peter Forsberg announced Sunday that he will sign with the Colorado Avalanche for the remainder of the season.
The 37-year old center may provide a much-needed spark of hope to the slumping Colorado offense, which has struggled to produce since losing left wing Tomas Fleischmann for the remainder of the season. Forsberg made his decision to return to the NHL and to the Avalanche after practicing with the club since Jan. 22.
"After testing my abilities with NHL players over the last few weeks, I feel confident that I can play at the NHL level and help this team," said Forsberg. "I wanted to see where I was at physically and I am ready for this new challenge."
It's fitting that the Swedish-phenom makes his NHL comeback in the Mile High City, considering that he spent 11 seasons with the franchise and helped lead Colorado to two Stanley Cup championships. He also captured the 2003 Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP after leading the league with 106 points (29 goals, 77 assists) in 75 games that season.
Fantasy Tip: While signing Forsberg for the remainder of the season was a no-brainer for Colorado, picking him up for your fantasy team may be a risky move.
Consider picking up Forsberg only if you need help in the assists category; after all, only Wayne Gretzky (1.320), Mario Lemieux (1.129) and Bobby Orr (.982) averaged more assists per game during their NHL careers than Forsberg did (.901). While the Forsberg of old was known for his physical play, dazzling goal-scoring prowess and slick passing, with his oft-injured foot a concern, it’s not likely that he will play to the level that once earned him league MVP honors.
However, one doesn't notch 885 points (249g/636a) in the NHL without possessing some serious skills, so expect Forsberg to produce at a modest rate as he adjusts to the current pace of the game.
It's hard to say which line Forsberg will play on considering that Colorado already has two solid centers in young guns Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene, but with Forsberg's play-making ability, it's likely that he will play on the Duchene-Milan Hejduk line, where he would skate as a wing.