Forsberg returns to NHL with Avalanche Staff

2/25/2008 8:03:38 PM

The Colorado Avalanche have won the 'Peter Forsberg sweepstakes', signing the centre to a one-year deal to return to the team for the rest of the season.

"I am looking forward to putting this jersey on again," Forsberg said in a conference call. "I have so many great memories of my playing days in Denver. I'm excited about helping my new teammates and former teammates in the coming weeks, and hopefully I am able to do that in the very near future."

"He's a premier player in this league," Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere said in a conference call. "We're very excited Peter agreed to come back."

Sources tell TSN Forsberg will earn $5 million (US) prorated for the remainder of the season, approximately $1 million. The deal also includes a no-movement clause.

Forsberg spent most of the 2007-08 season recovering from his foot and ankle injuries and said last week it was 'uncertain' that he would return to the NHL.  Forsberg does not believe that his surgically repaired foot will be an issue.

"I feel good," Forsberg said. "I'm confident that it's going to be good."

The 34-year old remains uncertain when he will return to the ice but he doesn't believe he will be ready for the Avs game Saturday night against the Kings in Los Angeles.  He remains confident that he can help contribute to the Avalanche's playoff run.

"It's a real good lineup," Forsberg said. "We can make a run."

Despite rumours to the contrary, Forsberg never considered retirement.

"I never really wanted to believe it was over," said Forsberg, who won't make a decision about 2008-09 until after this season. "I don't feel that old. I feel like if I can solve this, I could play for a while. I never really gave up hope."

The five-time All-Star played in 57 games in 2006-07 with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Nashville Predators last season, posting 13 goals and 55 points. He was dealt to the Predators at the trade deadline for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and first and third-round draft picks in 2007.

Prior to the trade, Forsberg was limited to 40 games with the Flyers because of a lingering foot injury, but still managed to register 11 goals and 40 points. He has been slowed by injuries over the last few seasons, undergoing surgery on both ankles last summer.

Forsberg was originally drafted sixth overall by the Flyers in the 1991 Entry Draft. He was dealt to the Quebec Nordiques in 1992 as part of a blockbuster deal that saw Philadelphia acquire centre Eric Lindros.

In his first NHL season, Forsberg won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, scoring 50 points in 47 games.

In ten seasons with the Nordiques and Avalanche, he recorded 216 goals and 741 points. He won the Stanley Cup twice with the Avalanche (1996 and 2001) and won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 2003 when he recorded 106 points in 75 games.

In August of 2005, Forsberg returned to the team that drafted him when he signed a two-year $11.5-million contract with the Flyers.

The six-foot, 205-pound centre has played in 697 regular-season games over his 12-year career, recording 248 goals and 871 points.

He is also a veteran of international play, having represented Sweden at four Winter Olympics (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006) - winning gold twice. He's played in five World Championships (1992, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2004), two World Cups (1996 and 2004), and two World Junior Championships (1992 and 1993).