The Colorado Avalanche have been home to some of the best players to ever play the game of hockey, but perhaps no Avalanche player was more dominant, when healthy, than Peter Forsberg.
And today, the Avalanche legend turns 50 years old, so we here at Colorado Hockey Now want to wish Forsberg a very happy birthday.
As a young player, Forsberg was someone I aspired to be, but who was I kidding? You can try to be Foppa, but he’s one of a kind. One thing I certainly took from his game was his unselfishness with the puck. I hated shooting (strange, I know), and loved looking for that extra pass. At times, it certainly looked like Forsberg had no interest in shooting, and he’d hold onto the puck until he created an opening for his teammates. He could do this because no one could take the puck off of him, quite frankly. Anyone who played on his line was gifted with some easy goals, to say the least.
His mix of skill and power was unmatched in the NHL. People often wonder what his career would have been like without all the injuries, and I wonder that as well, but I have a slightly different opinion.
What made him so great was the way he played the game. He was fearless, and he was a bull on skates. If you were in his way, he could either go around you, or just go through you. Whatever game you wanted to play, he could play it. That’s why he was so special, and partly why he dealt with so many injuries. He only really knew one way to play, and nothing stopped him from playing that way.
Issues with his foot and ankle shortened his career, and when you read about what he went through just to get his foot in a skate, you wonder how he lasted as long as he did.
It takes a truly elite hockey player to take an entire year away from the game, only to return for the NHL playoffs and lead the league in scoring by 4 points…without even playing a single game in the Stanley Cup Final. Just a special, special player.
So here’s to you, Mr. Forsberg. You are partly responsible for the sheer volume of young kids who started playing hockey in Colorado, and are one of the best to ever lace up the skates. An all-time NHL great, and Avalanche fans are grateful for all the memories.
Happy birthday to you, legend. To watch the video below, you have to go to YouTube, but trust me, it‘s worth it.