A man can't even go to the gym for an hour and a half without the biggest story of trade deadline dropping while he's in there.
Peter Forsberg and the Avalanche pulled off one of the best trade deadline rumor dekes of all time, by agreeing to a pro-rated, one-year deal for $5 million. Foppa will return with just six weeks (19 games) left in the season. There is no word yet on when exactly Forsberg will take the ice in an Avalanche uniform.
But one Avalanche official said today that serious talks with Forsberg didn't start until this morning. The Avs jumped in with the contract offer after being informed Forsberg felt good enough to give a comeback a try, and the deal was signed not long after.
That's how fast things happened.
UPDATE: Scott Burnside of ESPN has chimed in with his own two cents on the Forsberg signing, and somehow manages to work in this little nugget of insanity (emphasis mine):
Coach Joel Quenneville, who should deserve some coach of the year consideration for keeping this ragtag bunch of players in the playoff hunt, will now have to introduce yet another part to the lineup, even if Forsberg is familiar with the ins and outs of the Pepsi Center after playing nine seasons in Denver. "He gives us a lot of options," Quenneville said.
Yeah, think of all of Coach Q's new line shuffling options! Burnside, seriously, shut up if you're not going to actually watch any Avalanche games all season.
UPDATE: Mark Kiszla at the Post isn't a big fan of the whole thing:
Digging in the closet to dust off the old No. 21 sweater of Peter Forsberg, the Avalanche got lost in the sweet nostalgia of its past to avoid dealing with the team's real problems of the here and now.
What? Ray Bourque and Patrick Roy weren't available?
This was not a legitimate hockey move, by an NHL franchise that had lost a grip on a playoff berth and was no longer buzz-worthy in Denver.
It is a made-you-look ploy.
Now, the questions loom:
- Is Forsberg actually healthy or will he play for two games and then have to retire for good?
- Will he be enough to push the Avs, currently out of the playoff picture and struggling, over the eighth-place hump?
- Will Coach Joel Quenneville, already proving his ineptness almost every game, even know where and how to play the legendary Swedish center?
- Who will be Forsberg's probable linemates, at least for two shifts a game?
- Is this all just a big money grab by Avalanche ownership, who have already given up on making the playoffs and salvaging the season?
- Will his return have any effect on lagging ticket sales at the Pepsi Center?
And while you're doing it, take a stroll down Funny Forsberg Face Memory Lane:
photo courtesy of Hakan Dahlstrom