Flyers and Predators legend Peter Forsberg — who also had stints with the Avalanche and Nordiques during his NHL career — gave an extended interview to the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast released Tuesday. morning.
It’s a very interesting discussion with former NHLers Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette that’s worth 56 minutes of your time.
Here are some takeaways from the interview, so obviously spoilers ahead. Read no further if you want to hear this without being spoiled hot for you!
- He claimed he was a bigger kid growing up, and was more interested in snacking than lifting weights.
- His goal was never to make NHL as he thought this was a pipe dream and really wanted to play for his hometown team Modo. He wanted to stay home as long as possible.
- He liked being called by his nickname Foppa growing up. He says he preferred it to the stiffer “Peter”…you know, his birth name.
- Don Paisley (his agent) was the one who told him he was going to be picked in the 91 draft more than he first thought. Forsberg had expected to be a second or third round pick, but was shocked when he thought he might go in the middle of the first round as Paisley predicted. In the end he was ranked sixth by the Flyers.
- Forsberg shines on the Lindros trade that sends him to the Nordics. There’s a lot to unpack in that whole saga that could have taken an hour, but he chose to forward the question – somewhat gracefully I might add – to the talented team he ended up with and how happy he was to be with that group of players.
- Speaking of those players, I remember the Nordiques’ last year in Quebec because that was my team, but you just forget how loaded with young talent they were and how close they jumped while they were in that city. He then talked about Pierre Lacroix doing what he believed the team needed to improve and how that involved swapping out talented players like Owen Nolan, Mats Sundin and Wendell Clark for seasoned players that would help them reach the trophy.
- Playing his first season in Quebec in 1995 was made easier by the fact that it was such a short lockout season. The move to North America and the style of play and league were better for him with an abbreviated rookie campaign.
- When discussing the move, Forsberg twice mentioned moving to Colorado allowing players to get paid where they would not be able to meet the Quebec payroll. I don’t think the league would have allowed that to happen because of the massive legal issues it would have had with the players’ union, but it would have been interesting to hear it in such a terrible perspective from a player’s point of view.
- Forsberg talks about hearing rumors of the move during his rookie season, but clearly didn’t put a lot of money into it. He claims to have found out about the move to Denver from a phone call that summer. I’d like to hear the call players have received informing them of the full transfer of their jobs across the continent.
- He only attempted the penalty move that now bears his name once before attempting it in the gold medal game against Canada at the 1994 Olympics in Norway…and he missed it. So the goal that gave Sweden gold—and which would live in bad shape on postage—was actually the first successful attempt at this move.
- Tell a story about running out of gas in qualifying in the late ’90s. Based on his account, I thought the year was 1999 since he talked about the anti-shark series. The only flaw I found in his recounting is that he said the year before he was against Dallas which can’t be the case. I assume he meant the famous Edmonton series in 1998 where the team blew a 3-1 series lead and lost in seven. This is neither here nor there. Who am I to challenge the great storyteller Peter Forsberg (however, here I am…). The moral of his story was that they lost Games 3 and 4 against the Sharks after playing their first two contests, and Bob Hartley asked the room what the problem was. Patrick Roy stood up and pointed to Forsberg and said he didn’t make an effort and the Avalanche goaltender could see that. To his credit, Forsberg said that running out of gas the previous year made him believe the best way to win was to conserve energy for later rounds. After Roy called him out, he responded with a goal and an assist in Game 5 and the Avs would go on to take the series, 4-2. At the time he was still a young player, but it’s funny to think that a teammate could chew in front of a locker room in front of a locker room… even if that fellow was a legend in the game.
- Forsberg didn’t think the spleen injury was so serious at first and was more concerned with throwing off the qualifiers. After Game 7 against Los Angeles in the second round of the 2001 playoffs, he was having dinner with some teammates when his left side started to ache. I went to the emergency room on the advice of the team’s athletic trainer thinking it wouldn’t be that bad and within an hour and a half he said he had drained 1.7 liters of blood in his body, which almost caused him to pass out.
- He returned to Sweden after training camp the following year to recover after surgery on his ankle thinking he would only be out for a few months, but needed another tendon procedure when he returned to Denver in January. This was the problem that caused him to miss the entire season and jeopardize his playoff games. He also said he only participated in a preseason full-contact workout before he was allowed to play the opening round against the Kings.
- He was not paid during that period when he was injured, and he asked the team not to pay him while he was at home trying to recover from the pain. “The stupid part is that it was my highest paying year, so personally it was bad timing. I guess my economics studies just didn’t pan out for it.”
- Forsberg was an early investor in Crocs, and was brought to the company thanks to two friends from the Boulder area. He came on board under the impression that they were wearing shoes and was ultimately the one to introduce the company’s product to the Scandinavian market. It’s interesting to note that Forsberg’s biggest money-making game (outside of his NHL contracts) involved comfortable shoes since his on-ice career was hampered and eventually cut short by problems with his feet and ankles.
- Anyone who knows of Forsberg’s career knows foot problems, but it was surprising to hear that he’d had over a dozen surgeries to fix problems with his foot, including one to move his heel (what?!) and another to move his heel back when they realized the heel wasn’t. is the basic problem (what?!).
- He told his teammates and his coach that he was retiring between game periods with the Flyers due to foot problems. Forsberg would reconsider after getting a goal and an assist later in the game and earning one of the game’s stars. Go and deduce.
- In discussing the period after the lockout when he was going to leave the Avalanche, Forsberg spoke of having no ill will towards the team and understanding the rationale in their reasoning. He had a meeting with Lacroix and both parties wanted him to stay in Denver, but that couldn’t work under the new salary structure. The last part of this made me laugh because it highlights the self awareness where he was saying “I get their decision and I look bad for my career after lockdown, they made the right call.”
- This was shocking to me because it was the first time I had heard of this: After the lockout had ended and Forsberg and Foote were Avalanche victims, he almost signed to Boston before settling for Philadelphia and the team that drafted him. Imagine what Peter Forsberg would have looked like in a Bruins jacket…imagine him now on a Predators and you get the same vibe. Just a strange look.
- Speaking of the Preds, Forsberg was in Nashville for a pair of games the weekend after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for Foppa, both games (including Friday’s contest against Colorado) are canceled due to a burst water pipe. Tough timing for the man who has flown in from Switzerland to watch the matches.
Again, great interview with Forsberg. I wish he had gone a little deeper into playing Sakic other than a short discussion about mentoring him early on, but that’s okay.
The only thing I would live to hear are the stories you hear about his reaction to the Deadmarsh trade in 2001. The relationship between these two and how the trade almost caused Foppa to leave Denver himself is always a mystery and hearing his side would be fascinating.
If I listened, did I miss anything that you found interesting or new?