I find myself wondering what he is thinking this time. Athletes can't be faulted for wanting to keep the good times rolling, but in Peter Forsberg's case, the good times are broken down and sitting on blocks in the front yard. Maybe he sees what the rest of us see. That the Avalanche are fast and fun to watch. I can't fault him for wanting to be a part of the team. Wanting to be back with the guys.
I was there the last time Forsberg played for the Avalanche. It was game six of the first round playoff series against the Wild in 2008. The Avalanche clinched the series, and Forsberg hurt his groin. I saw it happen. Something gave as he skated up the ice, and he drifted slowIy back to the bench. "Pedro's hurt again," I told my friend. I knew then it had to be the end.
But I'm a sucker, just like the rest of us are suckers. When Forsberg was selected to the Swedish Olympic team last year, I got excited. I thought that maybe he would show the world that he still had "it." But then I noticed he would be playing on the third or fourth line, and the excitement waned. And when I watched, the excitement turned into sadness. Injured or not, Peter Forsberg wasn't really dominant anymore. He is, by any sports standard, old.
Sure, hockey had Gordie Howe and Chris Chelios. Players who were great far longer than they should have been. But they weren't really playing on one leg or no legs like Peter. When it was announced that Mario Lemieux would play in a game before the Winter Classic, my ears perked up, but then my eyes read "Old Timers game" and I shrugged. Age happens.
I'd love to see Forsberg back on the ice, making plays that nobody else can make, hitting people harder than anyone else can hit. I want to have fun again when I watch hockey. I want the Avalanche to roll through people, and so does Peter. In times past I got used to writing cynical columns questioning Forsberg's returns. He was always too hurt and everything seemed crazy. But this time I feel different.
I feel...I feel...happy?
Yeah that's it. I'm happy with this. I'm excited! I want this to happen!
Crank up the media circus and unfurl the banners! Peter Forsberg is back!
Everyone fall in line and make haste to the Pepsi Center. Fill the air with trumpets and stories of his greatness! Let this be a time of feasting and celebration!
Our hero is back for one last, last, last, last, last, last, ride!
And this time it will be different? Who cares?!