PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Philadelphia Flyers finally traded Peter Forsberg ( 300K|700K), sending the star center to the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators on Thursday night for forward Scottie Upshall, defenseman Ryan Parent and two draft picks.
Forsberg, slowed this season by chronic right foot problems, can become an unrestricted a free agent at the end of the season, and the Flyers decided to get some value for the former NHL MVP rather than risk losing him for nothing.
"I'm a little shocked," Forsberg said. "I could not commit to another year because I don't know what's going to happen. I felt like I was being fair to give up the no-trade clause and they get something for me. It kind of worked out."
The 33-year-old Swede, in the final months of a two-year, $11.5 million contract, had 11 goals and 29 assists in 40 games for the Flyers this season, his second with Philadelphia after 10 years with Quebec and Colorado.
"We went around and around with Peter for a fair amount of time about making a commitment to us for future years and it appears that he could not and would not do that going forward," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said.
"It was our belief in the long run for the betterment of the franchise for the future, this was something we needed to do. The timing of it may not have been great, but it was a good deal. A deal we thought we couldn't pass up."
Forsberg, a late scratch for Philadelphia's game against Toronto on Thursday night, has visited with doctors around the globe to find out why his foot hasn't felt right in his skate, the health issue mostly responsible for keeping him out 16 games this season. Since Forsberg returned from an All-Star break trip to visit a foot specialist in Sweden, he has three goals and nine assists in nine games.
Forsberg, expected to be in Nashville's lineup Saturday night for the Predators' home game against Minnesota, said he wouldn't consider signing with any team before he can become a free agent on July 1.
"Peter Forsberg is one of the NHL's most complete players and the ultimate competitor, a consistent winner who has year in and year out been a difference-maker in the Stanley Cup playoffs," Predators general manager David Poile said.
"He strengthens our club up the middle and will provide another battle-tested, veteran voice. Adding a player of this caliber also sends a strong message to our fans that the Nashville Predators are prepared to compete at the highest level."
Upshall, a 23-year-old left-wing, had two goals and an assist in 14 games for the Predators. The 19-year-old Parent, a 6-foot-2 defenseman, was the Predators' first- round pick in 2005.
The Flyers also received Nashville' first- and third-round selections in the 2007 entry draft.
The deal completes a massive shakeup in the organization. The Flyers fired coach Ken Hitchcock only eight games into the season and longtime general manager Bob Clarke resigned, before returning to the organization in a different job.
Even with the fewest wins and points in the league, team chairman Ed Snider said the Flyers are not rebuilding.
"We don't feel that we're that far away when we're healthy," Snider said.