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NHL Insider

Foot problems bring end to Forsberg's comeback

Tuesday, 02.15.2011 / 9:56 AM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

"One thing's for sure, I won't second-guess myself. I really tried and I tried and I tried. I'm really sure about the decision. I'm done, period. I can't do it." -- Peter Forsberg

Citing problems with his troublesome right foot, the 37-year-old forward announced his retirement Monday afternoon as a member of the Colorado Avalanche during a press conference at the Ridgeline Restaurant inside the Pepsi Center, ending his latest comeback attempt after just two games.

The Avalanche announced that it would retire Forsberg's No. 21 jersey during a ceremony next season, with details to be disclosed at a later date.

"The time has finally come," said an emotional Forsberg, who spoke with his fiancée, Nicole Nordin, next to him. "I'm retiring from the game of ice hockey. I've played hockey all my life, but I've come to the decision that I've played my final game. It's perfect for me to announce my retirement in Denver, as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.


Avs surprised by Forsberg's retirement

Monday, 02.14.2011 / 8:46 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

DENVERColorado Avalanche players knew something was amiss when they arrived at the Pepsi Center Monday morning to prepare for Monday night's game against the Calgary Flames.

Peter Forsberg's name wasn’t listed on the lineup and he wasn’t in the locker room getting ready for the morning skate.

"We thought it was kind of strange," Matt Duchene said.

Shortly after, Avalanche coach Joe Sacco relayed the news that Forsberg had decided to give up his comeback attempt and retire after playing two games, Friday in Columbus and Saturday in Nashville.

Emery happy to be back on the ice

Monday, 02.14.2011 / 6:11 PM / NHL Insider

Lindsay Kramer - Correspondent

Goalie Ray Emery was a hard man to miss when he stood between the pipes for his first Syracuse Crunch practice of the season Monday.

"It was one of those days when it was easy to get out of bed. I got up before the alarm clock." -- Ray Emery

It wasn't just the way he effortlessly flicked shots into the corner, or absorbed shots into his pads the way a paper towel soaks up water.

"You can just tell he's had that experience at a high level. There wasnt a whole lot of rebounds around his net today," Syracuse coach Mark Holick noted after practice.

No, Emery stood out even to the untrained eye with his neon orange paddle and orange-tinged mask, remnants of his tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Modano feeling good, aiming for late-February return

Monday, 02.14.2011 / 1:17 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Mike Modano huffed and puffed, trying to catch his breath.

"It's starting to get good. The hand's really feeling good, as far as pushing and shoving and getting a little bit more involved in the traffic and some other contact things. Strength-wise, it's really close." -- Mike Modano

He'd just come off the ice at Joe Louis Arena after a post-practice workout this past Saturday and scanned the Detroit Red Wings locker room. The 40-year old Modano eventually locked onto his target and asked 23-year old forward Justin Abdelkader a light-hearted question.
"Where'd you go?" Modano said, smiling. "Huh? Where'd you go?"
Abdelkader laughed and lofted a couple of barbs at Modano, who told reporters he's eyeing a possible return from surgery to repair severed tendons in his right wrist during a road trip at the end of the month. His play in practice this past weekend suggests that's more probability than possibility.

Penguins not in the mood to make excuses

Sunday, 02.13.2011 / 8:10 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- With a stiff upper lip the Pittsburgh Penguins are acting as if the elephant in the room is not the reason for their current slump.

Sure, any team that's missing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would have trouble winning, but the Penguins, who are missing so much more than just their two superstars right now, say the lineup and lack of star power are not the reasons for why they've lost four out of five and gave up 14 goals during a forgettable weekend trip to New York.

They followed Friday's fight-filled 9-3 loss on Long Island with a 5-3 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

"It shouldn't be," Max Talbot said when he was asked if opponents are finding it easy to play against the Penguins nowadays. "They're (Crosby and Malkin) obviously two of the best in the League and there are a lot of other guys that are hurt, but it's no excuse for us. Everybody in this dressing room has a role, everybody takes pride in playing the right way and we should be able to win some hockey games."

'The Fighter' goes back to center ice in Boston

Sunday, 02.13.2011 / 1:35 AM / NHL Insider

Bob Snow - Correspondent

"I never got the chance to fight in the old Garden – my brother [Dicky Eklund] did. But I did get to fight here," said Micky Ward about his return to the TD Garden, the site of some memorable bouts in his storied ring career.

The life and times of Ward – from nearby Lowell, Mass. -- are the backdrop of the recent box-office hit "The Fighter," starring Mark Wahlberg.

Friday night, the Bruins brought Ward back to center ice for the ceremonial first face-off before the Wings whitewashed the Bruins, 6-1.

Ward was also in attendance two nights earlier when the Bruins-Canadiens battle was more aligned with the pugnacious Ward's experience with pugilism.

Forsberg his own worst critic in comeback bid

Sunday, 02.13.2011 / 12:37 AM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - Correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Peter Forsberg might be his own worst critic.

Having started the NHL season at Game No. 55, the 37-year-old former Hart Trophy winner hit the ground running this weekend with back-to-back games in Columbus and Nashville on Friday and Saturday -- his first NHL action since 2008 because of chronic foot problems.

He finished minus-2 in each game and without a point to show for his efforts, as the Colorado Avalanche, with just one win in their last 10, officially tied Ottawa as the coldest team in the League in that span.

Under such circumstances, one might think that Forsberg might cut  himself some slack. Not so after Colorado's 5-3 loss to the Predators on Saturday, which followed a 3-1 defeat at Columbus 24 hours earlier.

Red Wings seek better effort for home fans

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 4:43 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- After losing 6-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, the Boston Bruins should have ample motivation for the second half of a home-and-home series Sunday.
Considering how the Red Wings have left the ice in their most recent home game, they too should have plenty of fire at Joe Louis Arena for the NBC NHL "Game of the Week."
Detroit was not only soundly defeated 4-1 by the Nashville Predators in its previous home tilt but in a rare occurrence, Red Wings fans booed them off the ice. The Red Wings aren't lashing back at fans for expressing themselves so vehemently -- just the opposite, actually.

Forsberg expected to play for Colorado

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 3:59 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- A night after making his season debut for the Colorado Avalanche, Peter Forsberg was expected to play for the second time in as many days Saturday against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

The Avalanche did not hold a morning skate and Forsberg, who is being followed by a sizable contingent of Swedish media, was not scheduled to speak to the media until after Saturday's game.
The 37-year-old Forsberg played 17:38 and was minus-2 with one shot in Friday's 3-1 loss at Columbus.

Familiarity should make Fisher's move smooth

Saturday, 02.12.2011 / 3:49 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Usually when the Nashville Predators acquire a new player, coach Barry Trotz takes the personal approach of picking up that player at the airport.

When Mike Fisher arrived Friday night from Ottawa, Trotz deferred to someone else.

"I'm sure someone he knows a lot better than me picked him up," Trotz quipped after the team's morning skate Saturday.

"And a lot prettier, too," interjected Predators television analyst Terry Crisp.
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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens