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Clarke, Snider and Forsberg Comments

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers chairman Ed Snider, general manager Bob Clarke and center Peter Forsberg all took part in seperate media sessions in regards to Forsberg signing a two-year deal with the Flyers. Below are there comments.

To hear audio clips of Clarke and Forsberg, click here.

Bob Clarke

"When we were at the draft, I spoke with Don Baizley, who represents Forsberg. I just asked him if he was going to be out on the market. He said he didn't know, but if he was, we would be a team that Peter might be interested in. After we got our defensemen in order, I called [Baizley] yesterday around noon, and just asked him where everything stood. He said that he obviously had quite a few offers for him, and the one that Peter was going to take, they were running out of time. So, we actually had from noon until 4:00 to try and clear some space on our $39 million cap. I immediately called [Jeremy Roenick] and told him what was going on, and he said, 'Clarkie, if you can get Forsberg, I understand you have to trade me and I have no problem.' I said, 'J.R., I'll give you your preference of teams. I may not be able to send you there, but let me know who you're interested in.' [He said] Phoenix, L.A., San Jose and a couple other teams. He wanted to stay on the West Coast. Over the course of the afternoon we had lots of conversations. Other players' names were involved and it just got really complicated. Mr. Snider was part of it all, and we finally said to Mr. Snider, that we could sign Peter and go 10 percent over the cap, but I guarantee you that we won't be over for long because we have enough players to trade to get under the cap. I think you guys know Mr. Snider and know he has lots of (guts), and he'll take that gamble. He just said, 'sign Forsberg.' So, we called up [Baizley] at ten minutes until four said we're going to sign him. It's going to put us over the cap, but we'll clean up that space."

"We were late, in comparison to some of the other teams, obviously. We had to get the defense in order first, we thought. I think when you're talking about a player like Forsberg, a lot of times you convince yourself that this player is so good that you're never going to be able to get him any way. But, [Baizley] said that he was interested in us, and he gave us a chance so we jumped at him."

"If he wanted to play in Sweden he could have, but he obviously wanted to come back [to the NHL]. Sometimes a change for a player who has been in the same spot for a long time rejuvenates a player. I don't know if Peter needs to be rejuvenated or not, he's obviously one of the best players in the game and he will continue to be that."

On Forsberg's previous injuries:

"I think when you play as hard and as physical as him, you're going to get some injuries. Some of the things like a broken arm; that can happen to anybody. It happened to Desjardins. But a ruptured spleen and stuff like that, that's just tough luck. We weren't really concerned about that."

On if he remembers seeing Forsberg when the Flyers drafted him:

"I saw Peter play as a junior in the World Championships. I think one night he got like 10 points, he and [Markus] Naslund were like men against boys. When he went out West and you seen him play, he's always the best player on the ice, regardless of whether it's the playoffs or a game in January. I think the decision to sign Peter was an easy one."

"When I told you that I wasn't going to sign anyone else, that was our intent. At the time, we thought, this is who we're going to go with. When we had a chance to get Peter, we just said we'd be dumb not to do something like that."

Ed Snider

On if he had to think about signing Forsberg:

"You do have to think about it, but in the final analysis, these opportunities only come along once in a lifetime. You can't pass them up. We knew that we'd be able to do something to get under the cap, so therefore we made the move. I okay'd it from Bob, and I'm just fascinated that Bob had the opportunity. I have to say this, though: I'm going to miss Jeremy Roenick. He was a class act for our club, and when I think of all the injuries that he played through, particularly in the playoffs the year before last, Jeremy is a heck of a guy. He also was a class act in the way in the way he handled this whole thing, because he had a no-trade and we asked him in advance of making the deal. Jeremy was 100 percent in favor of us going forward. You don't meet guys like that too often."

On the Flyers taking risks with big moves and trades in comparison to other Philadelphia teams:

"I'm not going to comment on what goes on with other teams. I mean, we can only do what we do. We do the best that we can to try and win, and I think every team in the city is doing that. Obviously, the Eagles have done a tremendous job. We're the same people that own the Sixers, and I don't know who you're talking about, but I think the Phillies are doing everything in their power to try to win. It's not easy."

On when he found out:

"I just found out yesterday, when Bob called me and told me. I was stunned, to be honest with you. Bob did a masterful job. He only had a couple of hours. He had a two-hour window to make the deal, one way or the other. We decided to take the gamble to go over the cap, knowing that there would be options for us to get back under. I can't congratulate Bob Clarke enough for what he has accomplished in this time."

On Peter wanting to come to Philadelphia:

"I think it's a credit to our entire organization. I think throughout the NHL, everyone knows, and the players especially know, that we do everything in our power to win. We do everything in our power to make our players feel comfortable. We try to treat all of our players fairly and with consideration. I think Philadelphia is a destination that is among the top in the league as free agents wanting to come. That puts us in a very good position in this new CBA."

Peter Forsberg

Q: What was your initial reaction after being signed by the Flyers?

A: "I'm excited - it's one of the teams that has always wanted to win. It's a great organization, so as soon as I heard they called I got really excited."

Q: Peter, you supposedly could have signed for more money in Colorado. Why did you come to Philadelphia? I know there were four or five teams with offers.

A: "Well, there were a couple options but I think you know about the system. Without the system, I probably might still have been in Colorado, but with the new system and everything it didn't really work out. I was talking to a few teams when Philly came in. They came in pretty late, but when they came in I was really excited and very interested and it went really fast from there."

Q: You helped Colorado win two Stanley Cups. Is it an extra motivation for a player such as yourself to come here to Philly and help them since they struggled to win a Cup now for the last 30 years?

A: "It's a lot of pressure to play in Philly because you haven't won in a long time, but I think that's good. It's an organization that always has shown the last I don't know how long that it really wanted to win every year. They always put out a good team and it's a classic organization. I don't know if it puts too much pressure but of course I want to show them that I am a good player and help the team be able to go as far as we can. I think there's no question that everybody expects us to go far and hopefully win the Cup."

Q: How happy are you right now?

A: "I am very happy. Like I said, it didn't work out in Colorado but when I heard that Philly was interested of course I'm happy. I got to go to one of the teams I wanted to play for. I was drafted by them way way back and it has been a long time coming. I am here now with the Flyers. I am very excited to get the season started. You should look at the roster - it's a great physical team and it's a good team. It is going to be really exciting to get started at training camp and start the season."

Q: How is your health?

A: "I'm good. I'm fine. I had a tough year last year. I broke my hand but everything is fine and I should be one-hundred percent when the camp starts."

Q: Peter, do you remember back to when you were traded originally from the Flyers--was that disappointing to you that you didn't end up going to one of the top franchises at that time?

A: "Well, I was kind of young then and I didn't really know too much about the NHL, to be honest with you, when I was drafted. I can't complain. I've been with a great organization in Denver for so long and it worked out pretty well. I can't say anything else. But, on the other hand, right now I am very excited to be here. You know, things happened back then and they went in a different direction and I wasn't part of it. Right now I feel great - they really want me here now and I'm happy."

Q: Peter, talk about the new rules and how they affect how you play the game?

A: "It's definitely good for all the forwards, you know, you're trying to score goals and it's going to open up the game a little bit. Put smaller pads on the goalie and I think its good. I'm trying to score goals - I think it's going to help me. I don't like grabbing and holding, but on the other hand, I don't mind physical play and that's what they kept, so I think it's good for me and hopefully I can do good over there."

Q: The last couple of years you've talked about going over seas and staying overseas and maybe your would return, maybe you would come back to Colorado, maybe you would leave Colorado. Did you feel that you needed a change of scenery, something different and this is it?

A: "I don't think I necessarily need a change. I think in 2001 when I missed the whole season and I sat out and I felt like I do really miss the game and I do want to play. I enjoyed playing again and I had fun and everything feels great. Last year with the lockout you get to rest your body another year so I have no problem. I don't know how long I am going to play. Maybe a few people are a little surprised I signed a two year deal instead of one because I always said I only wanted to take one year at a time, but I feel great and I have fun playing and I know I am going to be playing on a great team so it's going to fun."
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