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-   -   Peter Forsberg: The Reality in Contrast With The Imagined, Romanticized Version. (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1711183)

JetsAlternate 07-19-2014 05:09 AM

Peter Forsberg: The Reality in Contrast With The Imagined, Romanticized Version.
 
As good of a player as Peter Forsberg was, it appears this forum has created its own idealized, hyperbolic version of him, overrating his dominance over his peers and sharing their misconceptions of his skill level. This idea of him as "the most complete hockey player who ever lived" is absurd, yet he has attained a monumental, godly degree of admiration, being deemed a far better player than he actually was.

In reality, while Peter Forsberg was a terrific player, he was not the unrivaled player many now believe him to have been.

Many point at his defensive prowess as something to be in awe about, but this is hardly representative of his defensive ability. While he was a strong defensive player, he never once won a Selke Trophy and was only sporadically considered a potential Selke candidate. The following thread comments on this, and the voices of many of our veteran hockey historians can be read below with opinions that contrast starkly with those of the misinformed public:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=949925
Quote:

Originally Posted by vippe (Post 34979595)
Forsberg was good defensively, but except for one or two season he wasnt up there among the top 3-5 defensive players. Still a great feat considering the defensive players who were in the league in his prime.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe (Post 34985359)
I think the better question is "how did Peter Forsberg ever finish second in Selke voting?" He was always a very good two-way player, but I don't think he was ever an elite shutdown guy. The Selke votes Forsberg got early in his career were a lot like Toews from last season - a good scorer with INTANGIBLES - but never really a shutdown guy.

As you say, by 2002-03, Sakic was taking the tough defensive assignments at even strength and Forsberg effectively didn't kill penalties at all. He racked up the insane +/- mostly by destroying everyone offensively.

Quote:

Originally Posted by coldsteelonice84 (Post 34985489)
I never saw Forsberg as Selke calibre, especially in that era.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Swept In Seven (Post 34985533)
He was a good defensive player, but he was not the best in the league. He did not play PK very often, and was utilized as an offensive force. Anything extra he provided was just icing on the cake

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ishdul (Post 34986001)
No one's saying that he lacked defensive ability, just that he wasn't ever the #1 defensive forward in the league. And it would've been a very bad choice if he had won it over Peca.

Quote:

Originally Posted by I Hate Chris Butler (Post 34980001)
Because Forsberg was never the best defensive forward in the NHL.

We can take a look at his offensive abilities as well. He could score, but he often elected not to shoot the puck. When questioned, he could sometimes be evasive about it. He had terrific scoring ability, but he had a very strong stance about what he should be doing on the ice, and scoring was simply not something he thought about a lot of the time. In 2003, arguably his best season, he ranked 110th in shots.
Quote:

Forsberg isn't nearly the sniper he could be: [Final Edition]
The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 03 Jan 2003: A42.

DENVER -- Should Peter Forsberg shoot more?

That question floated around the Colorado Avalanche locker room after the versatile forward recorded his fifth career hat-trick in last Sunday's 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Pepsi Center.

"That's a tough question," Forsberg said when confronted with the question earlier in the week. "It's opportunities. When I'm skating well, I tend to get chances and get that little extra stride you need to get the shot off."

Statistics say Forsberg is more content to give up the puck to a teammate with a better scoring chance than force something to the net a goaltender can easily stop. Forsberg averages 2.4 shots per game, by far the fewest of any of the top six point producers on his team. Defenceman Rob Blake is on top with 3.9 shots per game and Joe Sakic (3.3) and Milan Hejduk (3.0) are the top shooting forwards.

Forsberg tends to draw the opposing team's best defenceman, and he gets knocked around enough to complain about that treatment to referees on the ice. If opposition defences are so geared to stop Forsberg, his teammates can get open for scoring chances.

"We don't want to do too much to correct Peter's game," said coach Tony Granato about getting him to shoot more. "We want to let him play. When Peter is going like he is, you don't want to tell him too much. I let him do his thing.

"There are times when he over-handles the puck. But the majority of the time, he will make the right play. He's a goal scorer. Other parts of his game, people look on as his best. But he certainly can score goals."

...

Forsberg has 13 goals and 29 assists. Historically, the Swedish forward has more than double the amount of assists than goals during a season.

This season, Forsberg has had to battle nagging injuries.

"I've had a groin injury, then the concussion, then missing a game with the flu," said Forsberg. "That's just the way it is. Believe me, it's been worse for me. Last year I didn't play one game in the regular season. I had to get healthy."

...
Quote:

Forsberg takes pass at scoring honours: 30-plus goal man usually captures Art Ross Trophy: [Early Edition]
Matheson, Jim. Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alta] 04 Apr 2003: F2.

Conventional wisdom says you can't win a scoring race unless you score. Passing's an admirable trait and shows how unselfish you are, but it's been close to 40 years since anybody won the Art Ross trophy without at least 30 goals.

Avs' centre Peter Forsberg could be the first since Blackhawks' Hall of Famer Stan Mikita in 1964-65 to do so, if he can overhaul Swedish buddy Markus Naslund, who's got him by two points (104- 102). Forsberg has two hat tricks this year but only 27 goals. He seems a lot more intrigued by the idea of getting linemate Milan Hejduk 50 goals and possibly the Rocket Richard trophy as the NHL's best scorer than scoring 30 himself.

"Nobody's won without scoring 30 goals in that long a time? Geez, I didn't know that," said Forsberg. "I'd like to get 30, but not the way I played in Los Angeles the other night." Ever the hard marker, he wasn't happy, but he could have had two or three assists if people had put away his passes. "Right now, playing with Milan and Alex, I'm going to get my points, but they probably won't be goals."

Since the NHL was at least 60 games, only three guys -- Mikita, Ted Lindsay and Roy Conacher -- have ever won the Art Ross with fewer than 30 goals on their resume.

So Forsberg's feat is rare stuff. In '97-98, he was second to Jagr with 25 goals and 91 points, 11 behind the Czech winger.

...

Three times as many assists as goals, for a guy who can shoot, but only has 160 shots, fewer than everybody in the top 25 in scoring today.

"I'd say Peter's probably assisted on the game-winning goal 15 times this year, maybe 20, including four in a row in overtime," said coach Tony Granato, who loves watching Forsberg set up people.

"Peter really enjoys beating guys (with his stickhandling)," said Oilers defenceman Eric Brewer, who's had to chase the Colorado centre around a few times. "Maybe he feels he makes a better play by passing, but he likes to draw attention to himself and 47 goals later we see Hejduk. And (Alex) Tanguay has really lit up playing with Peter, too. We all know he can shoot, too, but he just takes what he's given."

...

He can score, but he's got 486 career assists and only 196 goals, and only twice in seven years has he hit 30 goals.

...
He was also incredibly injury prone -- and he was not just susceptible to one type of injury. In fact, he sustained all sorts of injuries during his career, from concussions, wrist injuries, groin injuries, rib injuries and thigh injuries to his ankle and spleen complications.

Forsberg was just naturally injury-prone. If he played today, as some tend to hypothesize regularly here, he would still face many of the same problems. That's just who he was, and it would not have changed regardless of era. It's one thing to have one recurring injury such as those of Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros, Cam Neely, Paul Kariya or Pavel Bure -- we can wonder what would have been if their one, initial injury had not occurred to set of a chain of unfortunate events and ruin a career; it's another issue entirely to have a body made of glass like Sami Salo and to be naturally prone to injuries. At that point the injuries are just unpreventable.

Here is a list of some of his injuries since 2000:
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=816
Quote:

2008/05/02 Missed Game 4 of Round Two against the Detroit Red Wings (back injury).
2008/05/01 Groin, day-to-day.
2008/04/29 Missed Game 1 and 2 of Round Two against the Detroit Red Wings (back injury).
2008/04/24 Groin, day-to-day.
2008/04/01 Missed 1 game (groin).
2008/03/30 Groin, day-to-day.
2008/03/24 Missed 2 games (groin).
2008/03/20 Groin, day-to-day.
2008/03/17 Missed 4 games (groin).
2008/03/09 Groin, day-to-day.
2008/02/25 Signed as a free agent by the Colorado Avalanche for the remainder of the 2007-08 season
2007/03/17 Missed 6 games (upper body injury).
2007/03/04 Upper body injury, day-to-day.
2007/02/15 Acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers.
2007/01/11 Missed 4 games (groin).
2007/01/04 Groin, day-to-day.
2006/12/27 Missed 3 games (concussion).
2006/12/19 Concussion, day-to-day.
2006/12/16 Missed 5 games (foot injury/flu).
2006/12/08 Foot injury, day-to-day.
2006/12/02 Flu, day-to-day.
2006/11/24 Missed 1 game (back injury).
2006/11/22 Back injury, day-to-day.
2006/11/15 Missed 2 games (ankle injury).
2006/11/11 Ankle injury, day-to-day.
2006/10/26 Missed 1 game (left wrist injury).
2006/10/20 Left wrsit injury, day-to-day.
2006/10/19 Left wrist injury, left Thursday's game.
2006/04/18 Missed 1 game (groin).
2006/04/16 Groin, day-to-day.
2006/04/15 Missed 4 games (groin).
2006/04/07 Groin, day-to-day.
2006/03/21 Missed 1 game (knee injury).
2006/03/18 Knee injury, day-to-day.
2006/03/01 Missed 8 games (groin).
2006/01/26 Groin, day-to-day.
2006/01/25 Groin, left Wednesday's game.
2006/01/23 Missed 2 games (groin).
2006/01/18 Groin, day-to-day.
2005/12/10 Missed 6 games (strained groin).
2005/11/26 Strained groin, day-to-day.
2005/11/25 Strained groin, left Friday's game.
2005/08/03 Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Philadelphia Flyers to a two-year contract.
2004/09/18 NHL lockout: Signed with the MoDo Hockey of the Elitserien Hockey League (Sweden).
2004/03/23 Missed 17 games (hip injury).
2004/02/18 Hip injury, day-to-day.
2004/01/24 Missed 4 games (groin).
2004/01/17 Groin, day-to-day.
2003/12/27 Missed 19 games (groin).
2003/11/11 Groin, sidelined indefinitely.
2003/11/06 Missed 3 games (groin).
2003/11/01 Groin, day-to-day.
2003/06/25 Re-signed by the Colorado Avalanche to a one-year contract.
2003/03/20 Missed 1 game (bruised leg).
2003/03/16 Bruised left leg, day-to-day.
2003/03/15 Bruised leg, left Saturday's game.
2002/12/27 Missed 1 game (flu).
2002/12/26 Flu, day-to-day.
2002/12/21 Missed 3 games (concussion).
2002/12/18 Concussion, sidelined indefinitely.
2002/12/14 Neck injury, day-to-day.
2002/12/06 Missed 2 games (groin).
2002/11/29 Groin, day-to-day.
2002/04/29 Missed Game 6 of Round One against Los Angeles (leg injury).
2002/04/27 Leg injury, day-to-day.
2002/04/18 Missed all 82 games of the regular season (ankle/foot injury).
2002/01/10 Ankle surgery, sidelined indefinitely.
2001/09/15 Has decided to take a leave of absence from the game of hockey.
2001/06/09 Missed the last 12 games of the playoffs (spleen surgery).
2001/05/10 Spleen surgery, remainder of the playoffs.
2000/12/03 Missed 8 games (rib injury).
2000/11/13 Rib injury, sidelined indefinitely.
Not reported on that list are injuries prior to 2000, including these injuries that kept him out of the Avalanche lineup for quite some time -- note the publication dates:
Quote:

Scouting Report: [Final Edition]
Hickey, Pat. The Gazette [Montreal, Que] 20 Oct 1999: B6.

COLARADO AVALANCHE at CANADIENS

(Molson Centre, 7:30 p.m., TQS, CJAD Radio-800)

...

- WHO'S MISSING:... Colorado all-star Peter Forsberg had shoulder surgery in the off-season and won't play before December.

...
Quote:

Forsberg out, Oilers win: [Final Edition]
Prince George Citizen [Prince George, B.C] 02 Dec 1999: 9.

...

Forsberg suffered a hip pointer when slashed in a game Tuesday night at Vancouver and is listed as day to day. Colorado also was missing Joe Sakic, who is out with a rib cartilage strain.

But Chris Drury said the absence of teammates Sakic and Forsberg couldn't be used as an excuse.

"If they're not playing, we've got to play without them," said Drury, who scored the lone goal for the Avalanche (11-12-3-1).

...
Quote:

Thigh injury slows Forsberg: Doctors work to prevent calcification: [FINAL Edition]
Duhatschek, Eric. The Ottawa Citizen [Ottawa, Ont] 12 Mar 1997: D.14.

DENVER -- Peter Forsberg isn't blaming Todd Simpson, or planning to exact a pound of flesh from the Calgary Flames defenceman, but he admits candidly: ``I don't know if I can make a complete recovery from this.''

The ``this'' Forsberg refers to is the career-threatening thigh injury that resulted from a leg-on-leg collision with Simpson in a Dec. 14 NHL game against the Flames. The injury kept Forsberg out of the Colorado Avalanche lineup for 17 games.

Tonight, Forsberg plays his first game against the Flames since the injury occurred.

...
Quote:

Head Injury or Head Game?; Avs say Forsberg is gone for Game 4 -- but you never know for sure come playoff time; AVS HURTIN'?: [FINAL Edition]
Cole, Cam. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 09 May 1997: D.1.

Overnight, Colorado centre Stephane Yelle's groin pull moved south, to his knee.

So maybe by today, Peter Forsberg's concussion will turn out to be appendicitis.

Hey, it's the Stanley Cup playoffs, where the plain, unvarnished truth gets a fresh coat of brown paint daily and honesty is as scarce as a Joe Sakic one-liner.

...

``He's got a headache. It's a first-degree concussion -- not serious, but it's serious enough that as a precaution we're not going to let him play,'' said Crawford.

``We'll see how he comes out of the next few days. I'm not a neurologist, but he's a pretty valuable commodity, and you want to be on the safe side.''

...

Denver writers had a field day with Forsberg's knock on the head. Rocky Mountain News columnist Bob Kravitz wrote that the super Swede clearly was concussed because when he was helped back to the bench, he kept insisting he was the lead singer for ABBA.

...
Quote:

[FORSBERG SITS OUT]: [1 Edition]
Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 18 Dec 1998: 1.

FORSBERG SITS OUT

Colorado forward Peter Forsberg was pulled from the Avalanche lineup before last night's game against the Canucks due to a groin injury.

Forsberg, who has nine goals and 25 assists, took the pre-game skate but was unable to play. Normally a centre, he had recently been switched to left wing to play beside Joe Sakic, a move that coincided with Colorado's resurgence after a dreadful start to the season.

...
Curiously enough, Sakic and Forsberg played together on the same line in the 1998-99 season.
Quote:

Scouting Report: [Final Edition]
The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 23 Feb 1999: E2.

...

C Joe Sakic and C/LW Peter Forsberg continue to play together on one of the most dangerous lines in hockey. Rookie RW Milan Hedjuk completes the top line, while C Adam Deadmarsh pivots the second unit between LW Valeri Kamensky and RW Claude Lemieux. Crawford said the biggest difference since he left is Colorado's increased toughness.
Quote:

Forsberg's career in doubt:: [All But Toronto Edition]
National Post [Don Mills, Ont] 11 Mar 2005: B9 Front.

Peter Forsberg's father and coach thinks his famous son's hockey career may be over after the erstwhile Colorado Avalanche star suffered a serious concussion and a broken collarbone in a Swedish Elite League playoff game.

Yesterday, the younger Forsberg, 31, playing his first game with his father's MoDo team since suffering a hand injury on Jan. 20, needed to be helped off the ice after being cross-checked by Farjestads' Peter Nordstrom.

"He's had his share of concussions, I think it is enough now [to cause him to retire]," the Denver Post quoted MoDo coach Kent Forsberg as saying to Swedish reporters after MoDo lost 5-4 to go down three games to one in the quarter-final series.

...

At the very least, the injury puts into question Forsberg's participation with the Swedish national team at the upcoming world championship that begins on April 30.

...

He was acquired in 1992 by the Colorado Avalanche franchise when it was still in Quebec as part of the trade that sent the since oft- concussed Eric Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Forsberg, like Lindros, has had an injury-riddled career.

In addition to numerous surgeries on his groin, thigh area and shoulders, he took a leave for the entire 2001-02 to try and heal an ankle injury.

His decision to take the sabbatical came months after he underwent emergency surgery to remove a ruptured spleen and stop internal bleeding.

That surgery, on May 10, 2001, came just hours after he had helped the Avalanche beat Los Angeles in Game 7 of the Western Conference semi-final.

At the time, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet chronicled Forsberg's injuries since 1996, listing 20 serious ones, including seven head injuries, five of which were concussions.

...
When Forsberg struggled in the 1999-2000 season following an injury, we had a look at his psyche when he was not having much success. Whether he struggled that year due to lasting effects from the injury is difficult to determine.

We must note, though, that Forsberg was not without his criticisms. In two separate years, his teammates and coach are on record as saying at times he over-handles the puck, trying to do everything -- a trait that seems to be forgotten. The previous article about Forsberg's shooting tendencies highlights Tony Granato's thoughts, while below are comments from Patrick Roy. We also have insight from both articles about his tendency to dive and embellish penalties:
Quote:

Peter the Great: After a regular season that he would just as soon forget, Peter Forsberg of the Avalanche is back with a flash, and determined to make this a spring to remember: [Final Edition]
Kravitz, Bob. Star - Phoenix [Saskatoon, Sask] 24 Apr 2000: C2.

Welcome back, Peter Forsberg. Just one question, buddy: Where have you been all season?... And could you do this, oh, about 12 more times -- at least?... Forsberg's apparent return from hockey's longest hangover appears over. The brilliant but sometimes confounding Swede has been a mystery man all season -- was it post-concussion syndrome? Maybe bad potatoes? -- but just moments into the second period of Game 4 in Phoenix, it was as if a switch had been turned on.

...

"Absolutely, that was the best I've seen Peter play for a long time," Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy said after the clinching game in their series Friday. "That was the Peter Forsberg we need. That's the Peter Forsberg we have to have if we're going to have a chance to go a long way."

...

Forsberg drew three penalties on the Coyotes, although a number of good souls in the Phoenix dressing room would tell you he should be nicknamed "Floppa," not "Foppa."... The extended Forsberg slump easily could be attributed to the off- season surgery and all the nagging injuries throughout the season. As Foote pointed out, "I had an off-season surgery, and it took me a season and a half to feel right and get back my confidence in both my body and my mind."

But there was the sense there was something else, too. Question was, what was it? What were we to make of reports -- reports he recently shot down -- that he was tiring of the NHL's brutality and contemplating a return to Sweden? What were we to make of the whispers that he had suddenly become more concerned with winning his personal little battles more than the greater wars? And with all the problems with Eric Lindros and his concussion problems, what were we to make of Forsberg's extended funk -- especially when Forsberg refused to use injuries as any kind of explanation.

Roy, for instance, pointed out recently that while viewing film of his own game back in 1995-96, he noticed Forsberg was moving the puck much more quickly and crisply that season. Forsberg, it seemed to him -- and to Forsberg himself -- was holding onto the puck too long this season, trying to make too many fancy plays himself, trying to put his personal little battles in front of the team's effort.

Selfishness? That's not Forsberg's style. This was a kid who came home crying from a game his team lost 8-7 even though he scored all seven goals. And yet, there were times you watched him during this uneven regular season, and he looked -- oh, the blasphemy! -- like a selfish player.

"Of course, the way I'd been playing this year, it was hard not to beat myself up," Forsberg said. "When I struggle, I try to do too much. I put too much pressure on myself."

...
Injuries played a major role in how people viewed Forsberg.
Quote:

Poolies gamble on next Iginla, but Lecavalier risky business: [Final Edition]
Shi Davidi. Kamloops Daily News [Kamloops, B.C] 03 Oct 2002: A14.

...

Jagr should once again be the No. 1 pick in your pool. He remains in a class of his own.

He had some trouble adjusting to Washington's style of play last season but really took off once Adam Oates was dealt. The Capitals are now his team and his reunification with centre Robert Lang, who signed as a free-agent from Pittsburgh, means Jagr will once again win the Art Ross... Sakic is a logical No. 2 pick. Few players are as consistent the Colorado Avalanche's classy centre. Draft him and pencil in 85-95 points.

At No. 3, take Kariya. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks made several moves to ease the burden on Kariya this summer, most notably signing Oates and trading for Petr Sykora. With some legitimate talent around him, Kariya will be back over the 80-point threshold... The allure of a healthy Mario Lemieux will entice many to pick him in the first round. Don't. It's near impossible to resist a player who has averaged 1.97 points per game in his career, but if his back or hip flare up 15 games into the season, it could cost you the pool... There's a good chance he could slip to the late second or early third round in your pool. The risk is more tolerable in that area.

Other strong first-round picks: Colorado Avalanche centre Peter Forsberg; Dallas Stars centre Mike Modano; Los Angeles Kings centre Jason Allison; Pavel Bure, New York Rangers; Mats Sundin, Toronto Maple Leafs; and Iginla.

PLAYERS TO WATCH ON POOLIES' DRAFT DAY

...

Jaromir Jagr, Washington -- Now that Adam Oates is gone, the Capitals are his team. Being reunited with former linemate Robert Lang also helps.

Joe Sakic, Colorado -- One of the steadiest players in the game. Will see fewer checkers now that Peter Forsberg is back.

Paul Kariya, Anaheim -- Gifted winger showed at Olympics what he can do with talented linemates. Additions of Oates and Petr Sykora should mean big numbers.

Peter Forsberg, Colorado -- His 27 points in the playoffs prove is he back and ready to dominate. Is susceptible to injury.

Mike Modano, Dallas -- One of the NHL's most consistent point producers. After averaging 81 points the past five seasons, he should boost total this year under new coach Dave Tippett.

...
To properly formulate an idea of what sort of player he was, we must also analyze his player type and his tendencies, offered to us in the form of comments from his peers:
Quote:

Forsberg is 'unbelievable': [Final Edition]
Gallagher, Tony. The Province [Vancouver, B.C] 12 Feb 2003: A53.

Normally it's Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund who are in the business of creating headaches for the opposition as they work on ways to maintain the Canucks' great momentum.

Thursday night, however, the Canucks must also worry about stopping Peter Forsberg, who over the last few games of this Avalanche surge has been so good it's ridiculous.

It's been so rare over the past two seasons that Forsberg's health has allowed him to approach his best. But in the past few weeks something has snapped and he's suddenly not only the old Forsberg, but perhaps even better, even more determined.

...

The Avs have been terrified for quite some time now that Forsberg's health problems would incline him to call a premature halt to his NHL career. He's on the final year of his contract as it stands, but it's believed he will sign at least a one-year extension.

"I'll be surprised if he doesn't play at least until the lockout season -- but after that, who knows?" says Mattias Ohlund, the defenceman who gets the job of playing against all the top lines in the league, a particularly challenging task Thursday night. "But he's definitely not going to be one of these guys who plays until he's 35 or further."

"Stopping Forsberg is a lot like trying to stop Bertuzzi, which is to say it isn't going to be easy," says Canucks associate coach Mike Johnston. "Down low, he protects the puck as well as anyone, much the way Todd does. About the only thing you can do when he gets it like that with his back side to you is to ride his hip and play on the defensive side and try not to let him spin off you."

"It's his balance which makes it so tough," says Ohlund. "He's not a big muscle guy, but you can't knock him off his skates. But you do have to play him physical."

...
Quote:

The force is with him:: [National Edition]
Spector, Mark. National Post [Don Mills, Ont] 08 Apr 2003: S2.

...

"Maybe he feels he makes a better play by passing, but he likes to draw attention to himself and [50] goals later we see Hejduk," Oilers defenceman Eric Brewer said. "And [Alex] Tanguay has really lit up playing with Peter too. We all know he can shoot ... but he just takes what he's given."

"He draws two or three guys to him when he's got the puck, and he's so strong he can hold people off," marvelled Edmonton winger Ryan Smyth. "There's obviously somebody open when he's drawing people to him, so he passes.

...
We must ask ourselves whether Peter Forsberg really was as dominant as recent portrayals make him seem.

In the 2002-03 season, while some people here would make it seem Forsberg was the favorite to win the Hart Trophy, this was unclear until the very end of the season, and in fact Markus Naslund was ahead of Forsberg in points all year until the final game of the season -- Forsberg was not pegged to win it from the very start nor was he named the game's best player prior to that season. There were few claims that Forsberg was "the best player in the world" prior to 2003. In 2001, The Hockey News rated him fourth, behind Jaromir Jagr, Joe Sakic, and Mario Lemieux. In 2002, Nick Lidstrom was named the best NHL player in the world.

The fact that Markus Naslund was the players' choice in 2003 says it was not exactly unanimous either that people would have considered Forsberg the best player in the league that year, and that it was quite a divisive subject. Naslund won the Lester B. Pearson Award (now called the Ted Lindsay Award), and The Hockey News' player poll prior to the end of the season also named Markus the player most deserving of MVP honors.
Quote:

Forsberg makes late push: [Final Edition]
Alaska Highway News [Fort St. John, B.C] 20 Mar 2003: A6 / FRONT.

(CP) -- Peter Forsberg has declared himself fit to return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup, which puts him back in the hunt for the NHL scoring title.

Forsberg, who missed his team's last game with a charleyhorse, has been one of the hottest forwards in the league for weeks, and he has more games left to play than current leader Markus Naslund of the Vancouver Canucks.

Forsberg, Naslund, Joe Thornton, Mario Lemieux and Todd Bertuzzi are the main contenders for the Art Ross Trophy. Forsberg is bidding to become the first Swede, and the first player in Colorado franchise history, to win the scoring title.

Here's a look at the front-runners for the regular-season trophies:

ART ROSS SCORING

Naslund's 93 points had him atop the points parade Wednesday. Boston's Thornton was three behind. Forsberg had 88, and Pittsburgh's Lemieux and Vancouver's Bertuzzi each had 87.

HART MVP

Naslund or Bertuzzi have been equally important in the Canucks' outstanding season, and either would be a good choice for the Hart.

Forsberg, Thornton, Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, and goaltenders Martin Brodeur of New Jersey and Ed Belfour of Toronto also should garner support.

...
Quote:

Naslund, Forsberg and Brodeur in the running for NHL MVP award: [Final Edition]
Beacon, Bill. Trail Times [Trail, B.C] 01 May 2003: 7.

Markus Naslund of the Vancouver Canucks and Peter Forsberg of the Colorado Avalanche, who grew up playing against each other in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, were named finalists for the NHL's Hart Trophy on Wednesday.

Naslund and Forsberg, born 10 days apart in July of 1973, will be up against New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur for the award, which goes to the player deemed most valuable to his team.

It was the first Hart Trophy nomination for all three players and Forsberg or Naslund could become the first Swede to ever capture the honour.

...

On Monday, Naslund and Forsberg were named finalists for the Pearson Award -- a second MVP trophy voted on by their fellow players. But the third candidate for the Pearson was Boston Bruins centre Joe Thornton instead of Brodeur.
Quote:

Naslund happy to have peers' respect: Wins Lester B. Pearson: [National Edition]
O'Connor, Joe. National Post [Don Mills, Ont] 13 June 2003: S6.

TORONTO - Six weeks ago, fresh off a heartbreaking Game 7 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks captain Markus Naslund had the look of the just-captured fugitive. Tired, a little pale and definitely beaten, Naslund appeared in need of some solitary confinement, far away from the probing questions of a hockey-mad Vancouver media.

Yesterday at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, it was a rested, sun-burnished Swede who finally got a chance to flash a winning smile after beating out Peter Forsberg and Joe Thornton for the Lester B. Pearson Award, given out to the player deemed most outstanding by his peers.

Forsberg, who edged out Naslund for the scoring title in the regular season, captured the Hart Trophy, voted on by the writers, later last night. Naslund was the first Canuck to be nominated for the MVP award.

"Even though [the Pearson award] does not get the publicity that the Hart Trophy gets, it is still a neat thing when your peers vote for you," the Vancouver captain said yesterday.

While Naslund was understandably modest in accepting the Pearson award, Todd Bertuzzi didn't need to be subtle in describing his linemate's value.

"You can't fool players out there, guys know who is giving it their all," Bertuzzi said. "This award shows you how much respect Markus has gained among the other players, and that is just outstanding."

...

But intimidation is not an issue for Naslund. Indeed, his 48 goals -- 12 of those game-winners - - and 104 points, make him the player Vancouver opponents dread.

"If you got an ounce of brains, and Markus Naslund has the puck, I think you are afraid," said Brian Burke, the Canucks' general manager.

"We have only got five players left in Vancouver that I inherited, but thank god I inherited him."

Alas, one thing Burke did not inherit was a blank cheque, and a directive from the Vancouver ownership to go out and sign anyone he wanted. And the absence of depth beneath the Naslund-Bertuzzi- Brendan Morrison troika was evident in the final game of the regular season, when the Canucks collapsed against Los Angeles, letting a division title and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs slip away.

...
Quote:

NHL peers like Naslund for MVP: [Final Edition]
Prince George Citizen [Prince George, B.C] 25 Mar 2003: 11.

TORONTO (CP) -- Canucks captain Markus Naslund was named most valuable player in a poll of his NHL peers conducted by the Hockey News.

...

Heading into Monday's games, Naslund led the NHL with 96 points and was second with 44 goals.

"I think that's a great compliment coming from his peers," head coach Marc Crawford said Monday after practice in Vancouver.

"I think Markus is a very deserving candidate for those types of honours," Crawford said. "His leadership and his commitment to the team has been tremendous this year. I think he's growing and understanding just how vital team success is."

Canucks veteran Trevor Linden said he wasn't surprised. "I think throughout the league, finally after three years of being dominate out on the West Coast, he's getting some recognition. It's nice to see."

The Hockey News quoted some of the players who voted in the poll.

"The most dynamic guy I've seen is Markus Naslund," Buffalo centre Curtis Brown told the Hockey News. "He's like a lot of superstars. You can say, 'We've gotta shut this guy down', but he still does what he does."
Forsberg's skills were not particularly transcendent either. Wes Walz remarks here that Todd Bertuzzi's hands are as good as Peter's; in that respect, Forsberg is not exactly spoken of as being on "another level" as some here tend to claim he was:
Quote:

Bertuzzi worries Wild: [Final Edition]
Alaska Highway News [Fort St. John, B.C] 25 Apr 2003: A6 / FRONT.

VANCOUVER (CP) -- After battling Peter Forsberg for seven games Wes Walz says the Minnesota Wild are going to face an even bigger challenge in trying to shut down the Vancouver Canucks Todd Bertuzzi in their NHL Western Conference semifinal playoffs.

"You've got a power forward in Bertuzzi that probably handles the puck as well as Forsberg and he's fifty pounds heavier than Forsberg," Walz said after the Wild practice Thursday.

"It's going to be like playing against a small linebacker out there."

...
During the Dead Puck Era, it was difficult to decide who the best player in the world was. That title seemed very fluid, and there were players constantly competing with one another for that honor. If Forsberg was the "best player" of the era, it wouldn't have been by much, and it certainly would have been extremely debatable.

This forum has developed a cult of Forsberg, elevating his status and exaggerating his prowess to a level far beyond the reality. He was a good player and a terrific playoff performer, but he was hardly even the best player in the league in his prime.

Would he be "the best player hands down" in this era, as some repeatedly suggest? Probably not. He might be a top five player, but between injuries of all sorts and against other competition, he would not be considered this generation's top player either. He was among the top players during the Dead Puck Era, but he never transcended his peers to any degree nor was he at the top for more than a very brief time in his career.

At his very best, he was fairly neck-and-neck with a few other candidates as well for the Hart and Art Ross trophies, some of whom are less respected here than him. With six games left, Markus Naslund was ahead in the scoring race, and with two games remaining each player had 103 points. Naslund had a goalless drought in his final six games, just five points in that time, and zero points in the final game of the season. Markus lost the Art Ross Trophy and consequently the Hart Trophy by falling to a sub-point-per-game average at the end of the year. Markus still won the Lester B. Pearson Award. Such a fine line determined the difference between Naslund and Forsberg in scoring that year, so the degree to which Forsberg was the top player in 2003 is ridiculously marginal. Forsberg was a very good player, but unlike what some others have suggested here, he would not run away with anything in the current NHL. He would perhaps be a top five player, but he would not stand above his peers.

The degree to which Forsberg as a player has been romanticized is alarming; a portrait of him has been painted that no longer accurately represents who he was and where he stands among other NHL players, past and present. Clearly, this is something that must be corrected.
Quote:

Works Cited

Beacon, Bill. "Naslund, Forsberg and Brodeur in the Running for NHL MVP Award." Trail Times: 7. May 01 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Bertuzzi Worries Wild." Alaska Highway News: 0. Apr 25 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Campbell, Ken. "Sundin Ranked 20th Best Player in NHL." Toronto Star: 0. Sep 25 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Cole, Cam. "Head Injury Or Head Game?; Avs Say Forsberg is Gone for Game 4 -- but You Never Know for Sure Come Playoff Time; AVS HURTIN'?" Edmonton Journal: 0. May 09 1997. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Davidi, Shi. "Poolies Gamble on Next Iginla, but Lecavalier Risky Business." Kamloops Daily News: 0. Oct 03 2002. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Duhatschek, Eric. "Thigh Injury Slows Forsberg: Doctors Work to Prevent Calcification." The Ottawa Citizen: 0. Mar 12 1997. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Forsberg Isn't nearly the Sniper He could be." The Province: 0. Jan 03 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Forsberg Makes Late Push." Alaska Highway News: 0. Mar 20 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Forsberg Out, Oilers Win." Prince George Citizen: 9. Dec 02 1999. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"FORSBERG SITS OUT." Toronto Star: 1. Dec 18 1998. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Forsberg's Career in Doubt:" National Post: 0. Mar 11 2005. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Gallagher, Tony. "Forsberg is 'Unbelievable'." The Province: 0. Feb 12 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Hickey, Pat. "Scouting Report." The Gazette: 0. Oct 20 1999. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Kravitz, Bob. "Peter the Great: After a Regular Season that He would just as Soon Forget, Peter Forsberg of the Avalanche is Back with a Flash, and Determined to make this a Spring to Remember." Star - Phoenix: 0. Apr 24 2000. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Matheson, Jim. "Forsberg Takes Pass at Scoring Honours: 30-Plus Goal Man Usually Captures Art Ross Trophy." Calgary Herald: 0. Apr 04 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

O'Connor, Joe. "Naslund Happy to have Peers' Respect: Wins Lester B. Pearson." National Post: 0. Jun 13 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Scouting Report." The Vancouver Sun: 0. Feb 23 1999. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Spector, Mark. "The Force is with Him:" National Post: 0. Apr 08 2003. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .


plusandminus 07-19-2014 06:19 AM

Good and interesting thread start.
Maybe your post a somewhat unbalanced, as it focus on the negative things rather than the many positive, but that's likely natural and understandable.

I remember in the mid to late 90s, I had a discussion about him with a Denver guy who went to all of Avs' games. Among the things we discussed was the he probably could be an even greater threat offensively if he had alternated a bit more between shooting and passing. On the other hand, his passing was greater than his shooting (Peter himself has said he thought he had a rather poor shot). And the great Gretzky also tended to pass more than he shot.
Forsberg, however, for some reason tended to score more during the playoffs than during the regular season.

What is not mentioned (at least I didn't notice it) in your text is the influence of teammates. Playing with Patrick Roy will considerably increase the +/- of the skaters in front of him. Colorado also had some good defencemen, and Peter had linemates like Hejduk and Tanguay while also having opponents needing to focus on Sakic.
Statistically, Peter was great that season. But in a way one might think that the sum of all those great players might have been even larger.

Playing for Sweden, Forsberg was great but we are many who think Mats Sundin was equally good (or even better, for example Sundin was elected to the All Star Team on two best-on-best tournaments). Forsberg anyway might get the edge due to Sundin not being very outstanding defensively. (Regarding offense, I still wonder what Sundin could have done in the NHL if playing with better teammates. Eary in his career, in Quebec, a very young Sundin outscored Sakic.)

My view on Forsberg's career is that he had potential to be the best player during some frame of time. Maybe he was during 2001-2004, when he (as it felt) finally got to shine the way many of us had hoped for. Yet, his career is somewhat disappointing, mostly due to all his injuries. His shooting also is at his disadvantage when comparing him to other star players.

Of course, a guy like Mario Lemiuex is several steps above Forsberg offensively, Forsberg not even be close to Mario's level.

JetsAlternate 07-19-2014 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plusandminus (Post 88188959)
What is not mentioned (at least I didn't notice it) in your text is the influence of teammates. Playing with Patrick Roy will considerably increase the +/- of the skaters in front of him. Colorado also had some good defencemen, and Peter had linemates like Hejduk and Tanguay while also having opponents needing to focus on Sakic.
Statistically, Peter was great that season. But in a way one might think that the sum of all those great players might have been even larger.

Playing for Sweden, Forsberg was great but we are many who think Mats Sundin was equally good (or even better, for example Sundin was elected to the All Star Team on two best-on-best tournaments). Forsberg anyway might get the edge due to Sundin not being very outstanding defensively. (Regarding offense, I still wonder what Sundin could have done in the NHL if playing with better teammates. Eary in his career, in Quebec, a very young Sundin outscored Sakic.)

The following article certainly makes a strong statement about the talent level of Forsberg's Avalanche teams:
Quote:

Time to bury Avs, bid adieu to Forsberg: [Final Edition]
Bryant, Milo F. Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alta] 01 May 2004: E7.

...

Have fun with the knowledge the Avalanche did not get swept. But have even more fun with Sakic's gift: getting to watch Forsberg skate in an Avalanche uniform at least one more time. Because once the Sharks finish this, Forsberg will be on a plane back to Sweden.

...

Forsberg is history.

Soon the question must be asked about this team's legacy, not just Forsberg's, but each of his nine Avalanche teams and one Quebec team. Was the collective as good as it could have been?

That answer is a big fat no.

The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 1996 and again in 2001. It should have won more. It had the talent. Over the past decade, the Avalanche has been the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, the 1980s San Francisco 49ers.

Twice the Avalanche lost Game 7 to the Dallas Stars (1999, 2000). In 1999, the Avalanche had a 3-2 series lead and blew it. The Avalanche had a 3-2 lead in the 2002 Western Conference finals, only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings.

...
The author omits the 2003 Game 7 loss to Minnesota as well.

They definitely had some strong teams -- one of the very best of the era, a perennial contender with several talented players. That would certainly give a player an advantage in terms of their personal and team success.

In fact, he did not actually participate in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals -- he was out after spleen surgery in the second round that year.
Quote:

Forsberg out for rest of playoffs after surgery: [Final Edition]
Alaska Highway News [Fort St. John, B.C] 11 May 2001: A7.

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado Avalanche star Peter Forsberg will miss the rest of the playoffs after undergoing having his spleen removed Thursday.

Forsberg, who leads the Avalanche in playoff scoring, had the two- hour surgery after Colorado defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-1 Wednesday night to advance to the Western Conference final.

"The surgery was needed following medical testing that revealed the damaged spleen and internal bleeding," said team doctor David Mellman. "We feel this injury happened during last night's game."

Mellman said that Forsberg was sent to the hospital after he complained of abdominal cramps following the game.

The spleen is an organ that helps fight infection.

It is third time in this year's playoffs the Avalanche have been without a key player.

Defenceman Ray Bourque missed the first two games of the Western Conference semifinal with a strained back. Centre Joe Sakic missed two games and most of a third in that series with a bruised right shoulder.

...

Forsberg will remain in a Denver hospital indefinitely.

...
The team still won the Stanley Cup without him.

http://2.cdn.nhle.com/avalanche/imag...1Cup_slide.jpg
Quote:

Works Cited

Bryant, Milo F. "Time to Bury Avs, Bid Adieu to Forsberg." Calgary Herald: 0. May 01 2004. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Forsberg Out for Rest of Playoffs After Surgery." Alaska Highway News: 0. May 11 2001. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .


Regal 07-19-2014 07:08 AM

I think I see far mode posts on this board claiming Forsberg is overrated than people who are actually overrating him. Some people seem to think just comparing him to Crosby is overrating him, and this causes some people to focus on defending him.

No, Forsberg was not really the elite defensive player that his Selke voting suggests, especially later in his career. He was good defensively and an elite possession player, but I think too often physical play was associated with defense during the time period.

I think sometimes Forsberg, the video version, gets overemphasized, but people ignore what he was actually able to accomplish. As much as injuries took their toll on him, for most of his prime he was more like a Messier, missing a couple games here and there with minor injuries over the course of a season, than a Lindros, regularly missing large chunks of the schedule.

He was also among the rare group of players who was able to produce at an elite level nearly year in year out. Outside of his rookie year, he was on pace for 100 points every year except one until injuries caught up to him in 06-07. He has 7 seasons of 100 or more adjusted points (within an 8 year period), which is the same number as Sakic had in his full career (though adjusted stats likely hurt a couple of his pre-96 years). While he was probably only briefly considered the best player in the game by the majority of people before the lockout, he was always in the conversation from 97 on.

Comparing him to Crosby, I think people take offense because Forsberg didn't have the same period of being considered the best player in the game. But most of Crosby's dominance has been due to others falling off (which is actually what benefitted Forsberg in the early 2000s) A guy like Malkin is clearly capable of playing at a similar level, but he's inconsistent in doing so. Many of Forsberg's competitors were the same.way, but there were generally more of them so when one or two had a bad year, there were usually others to take their place. Some years Sakic was better, Selanne and Kariya had slightly better offensive years some years (though I don't think they were ever actually better), Lindros was great for awhile when he could stay healthy, Jagr was the best until he went to Washington (and would be the best today), Lemieux was obviously on another level than anyone the past 20 years, etc. There's also no defenseman in the league today close to prime Lidstrom, or even Pronger. All of these guys might give Crosby a run for his money in any given year, and Malkin is the only one who's really been on the level of any of those guys in recent years. But if we go back through Crosby's career, before these players fell off, he was never a head and shoulders the best player type of guy. Jagr and Thornton were obviously better in his rookie season, and even in his sophomore year, he was still raw on his overall game and many people thought Thornton or LeCavalier were better that year. Then he was competing with Malkin and Ovechkin for a couple years, with some outside competition by Datsyuk. Crosby's top end level never really stood out until these guys fell off. It's been his remarkable consistency that has really cemented his status. But Forsberg's consistency was fairly similar.

I tend to lump guys who can play at elite levels for multiple seasons in similar categories. I think you can put guys like Lindros, Forsberg, Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, etc in various orders at their peak/prime depending on what you value, which means Forsberg's in pretty select company

jkrx 07-19-2014 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JetsAlternate (Post 88189057)
The following article certainly makes a strong statement about the talent level of Forsberg's Avalanche teams:

The author omits the 2003 Game 7 loss to Minnesota as well.

They definitely had some strong teams -- one of the very best of the era, a perennial contender with several talented players. That would certainly give a player an advantage in terms of their personal and team success.

In fact, he did not actually participate in the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals -- he was out after spleen surgery in the second round that year.

The team still won the Stanley Cup without him.

http://2.cdn.nhle.com/avalanche/imag...1Cup_slide.jpg

Oilers won without Gretzky. Is he overrated too?

To the topic at hand. This forum has an overwhelming amount of "Forsberg was overrated"-critics. We'll see how many you will attract in this thread. As a wings fan who followed his entire career, I'll say he was the most dangerous player on those Avs teams and this Milo journalist seems to be a very negative person in general.

quoipourquoi 07-19-2014 07:35 AM

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=141


Yeah, no one before 2003 thought he was the best player in the world. :sarcasm:

Hobnobs 07-19-2014 07:45 AM

It kinda speaks volumes about how wrong u are when wings fans attacks your arguments about a former Avs player :laugh:

The Panther 07-19-2014 07:58 AM

I started watching the NHL regularly in 1986-87. In the past 24 seasons, the best forwards I've seen play are:
1. Wayne Gretzky (1985 to 1994)
2. Mario Lemieux (to 2001)
3. Steve Yzerman (up to 2002)
4. Peter Forsberg (1995 to 2006)
5. Joe Sakic (1989 to 2007)
6. Jaromir Jagr (1991 to 2006)
7. Mark Messier (up to 1996)
8. Sidney Crosby (2005 to now)
9. Eric Lindros (1992 to 1999)
10. Pavel Bure (1991 to 2001)
11. Alexander Ovechkin (2005-2010)
12. Martin St. Louis (2003-2013)
13. Paul Kariya (1995-2003)
14. Jari Kurri (1985 to 1990)

JetsAlternate 07-19-2014 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by quoipourquoi (Post 88189427)
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=141


Yeah, no one before 2003 thought he was the best player in the world. :sarcasm:

There are some questionable quotations in there, unless the opinions of these people shift on a day-to-day basis. They don't particularly make a lot of sense either.

Mario Lemieux did not retire until the end of the 1995-96 season; he scored 161 points in 1995-96, and 122 points in 1996-97. Eric Lindros, meanwhile, was crowned by some as well. Jaromir Jagr was not far behind. Your quotations have, as early as the start of the 1996-97 season, individuals claiming Forsberg to be the best player in the world.
Quote:

Just think if Sather had money; FIT TO BE TIED: [FINAL Edition]
Bell, Terry. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 11 Apr 1996: D.3.

...

BEST PLAYER: 1: Mario Lemieux. Who else is there, really?

2: Eric Lindros. 3: Jaromir Jagr. 4: Peter Forsberg. 5: Chris Chelios.

...
Did Mike Milbury actually say Peter Forsberg was better than Mario Lemieux in 1996, and do you believe that statement? Lemieux scored 161 points.

The fluidity of the title later on is highlighted by certain oddities as well. There are many publications in existence citing Jaromir Jagr as the best player in the world at the turn of the century. Those who chose Forsberg instead seem to have been in the minority, and many of your quotations actually refer to Sakic instead as the best player in the world. Some of your quotations are manipulated to seem as though they are stating something else; for example, the Detroit News, May 2000 excerpt states "Forsberg is the best player on the ice, whether the game is played at the Pepsi Center or Joe Louis Arena", but the scope due to the specification of the arenas is limited to the Red Wings and Avalanche rosters.

Ken Hitchcock, notably, is one individual cited in your quotations. In March 1999, he states in regards to Jaromir Jagr:
Quote:

Jagr `doing it on his own': [National Edition]
National Post [Don Mills, Ont] 02 Mar 1999: B17.

"I wouldn't call him one of the top two or three players in the league, I'd say he's the best player in the league right now," said Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock. "If you look at other teams, they have two or three players together -- Jagr is doing it on his own."
Jagr ran away with the point scoring that year, scoring 127 points.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hobnobs (Post 88189485)
It kinda speaks volumes about how wrong u are when wings fans attacks your arguments about a former Avs player :laugh:

They aren't attacking the argument as much as they may be discussing the frequency in which Forsberg's abilities as a hockey player are exaggerated. Forsberg was not on a higher level than his peers; that is the conclusion, so I assume you disagree with it.
Quote:

Works Cited

Bell, Terry. "Just Think if Sather had Money; FIT TO BE TIED." Edmonton Journal: 0. Apr 11 1996. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

"Jagr `doing it on His Own'." National Post: 0. Mar 02 1999. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .


Kranix 07-19-2014 08:30 AM

What's going on here? Clippings from burnt-out hockey hacks, and off-hand, out of the shower remarks from Wes Walz? Why would you spend all this time compiling this stuff just to say Forsberg was slightly less amazing? Indeed he played on teams that I could have coached to the cup, and he was oft-injured. These issues aren't relevant to arguments about his stature.

Hobnobs 07-19-2014 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JetsAlternate (Post 88189837)
There are some questionable quotations in there, unless the opinions of these people shift on a day-to-day basis. They don't particularly make a lot of sense either.

Mario Lemieux did not retire until the end of the 1995-96 season; he scored 161 points in 1995-96, and 122 points in 1996-97. Eric Lindros, meanwhile, was crowned by some as well. Jaromir Jagr was not far behind. Your quotations have, as early as the start of the 1996-97 season, individuals claiming Forsberg to be the best player in the world.


Did Mike Milbury actually say Peter Forsberg was better than Mario Lemieux in 1996, and do you believe that statement?

The fluidity of the title later on is highlighted by certain oddities as well. There are many publications in existence citing Jaromir Jagr as the best player in the world at the turn of the century. Those who chose Forsberg instead seem to have been in the minority, and many of your quotations actually refer to Sakic instead as the best player in the world.

Ken Hitchcock, notably, is one individual cited in your quotations. In March 1999, he states in regards to Jaromir Jagr:

Jagr ran away with the point scoring that year, scoring 127 points.

They aren't attacking the argument as much as they may be discussing the frequency in which Forsberg's abilities as a hockey player are exaggerated. Forsberg was not on a higher level than his peers; that is the conclusion, so I assume you disagree with it.

You seem like pseudo-science kinda guy. Choose a "truth" and then gather only facts that supports that "truth". Like the only things your took from quoipourquois quotes were things u had some answer for and the rest was discredited as questionable but we should take your quotes as direct evidence of how overrated Forsberg is. :laugh:

Dennis Bonvie 07-19-2014 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hobnobs (Post 88190011)
You seem like pseudo-science kinda guy. Choose a "truth" and then gather only facts that supports that "truth". Like the only things your took from quoipourquois quotes were things u had some answer for and the rest was discredited as questionable but we should take your quotes as direct evidence of how overrated Forsberg is. :laugh:

Yep, that sums it up.

Still wondering about the motive.

JetsAlternate 07-19-2014 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hobnobs (Post 88190011)
You seem like pseudo-science kinda guy. Choose a "truth" and then gather only facts that supports that "truth". Like the only things your took from quoipourquois quotes were things u had some answer for and the rest was discredited as questionable but we should take your quotes as direct evidence of how overrated Forsberg is. :laugh:

Certain quotations are called into question because they contradict other evidence, particularly when someone like Hitchcock offers multiple answers. I've said nothing about the other, valid quotations, and the volume of the quotations needs to be placed into context -- the link contains many quotations referring to Sakic instead, as the thread itself is a comparison of duos (Sakic/Forsberg vs Crosby/Malkin). However, I believe that the opinion in the cited quotations referring to Forsberg as "the best player in the world" was shared only by the minority:
Quote:

Gretzky passes torch to Jagr
Reuters. New Brunswick Telegraph Journal [Saint John, N.B] 25 June 1999.

Jaromir Jagr will take a lot of hardware back to Pittsburgh, where his Penguins will be staying, and Wayne Gretzky picked up one last NHL trophy at the the league's annual awards banquet yesterday.

Penguins superstar Jagr, widely considered the league's best player these days, claimed the night's biggest prize when he was named winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player for the first time. Gretzky and his wife Janet presented the honour to Jagr.

"This is probably the best thing that has happened to me since 1991 when we won the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh," said the sensational Czech right winger, who earlier learned his team would remain in Pittsburgh after a bankruptcy judge backed a bid by former teammate Mario Lemieux to buy the financially- strapped team.

Jagr said he was thrilled to learn that Lemieux was going to be his new boss and thanked Penguins general manager Craig Patrick "for putting such a good team together without spending a lot of money.

Jagr received 51 of the 56 first-place votes cast by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association to beat out Ottawa Senators centre Alexei Yashin and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek, who had won the Hart the previous two seasons.

Hasek, who led the Sabres to the NHL finals, did not leave empty handed however. He claimed the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender for the third consecutive year and fifth time in six years.

"The Dominator" was 30-18-14 with a league-leading .937 save percentage, nine shutouts and a sparkling 1.87 goals-against average in the regular season.

Jagr also took home his third Art Ross Trophy as the regular season scoring leader after winning the NHL scoring race by 20 points. Earlier in the day, he was presented with the Lester B. Pearson Trophy -- the MVP award decided by his fellow NHL players. Gretzky, a nine-time Hart Trophy winner who retired in April after his 20th NHL season, capped a week in which he was given fast track election to the hockey Hall of Fame by taking the Lady Byng trophy for the fifth and last time.

...
Quote:

Constantine has Penguins flying in coach class
Brunt, Stephen. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 08 May 1999: A30.

There are certainly no undeserving nominees this season for the award given to the National Hockey League's best coach.

Ken Hitchcock. Jacques Martin. Pat Quinn. Different teams, different circumstances, great results in the regular season, where the prize is decided. No argument with any of them.

But consider for a moment a guy who wasn't nominated, a guy who this spring became the only coach since the institution of the two-conference, 16-team playoff format to twice guide a No. 8 seed to victory over a No. 1 seed, a guy whose team beat Quinn's Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 last night in the first game of the second round of the playoffs.

He did that with the best player in the game -- Jaromir Jagr -- but beyond that with less talent than the other three had available to them. Scan the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup and just try to find a reason why they are where they are right now.

...

Given all that, it might be argued that Kevin Constantine did a pretty decent job this year.

...
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie (Post 88190121)
Yep, that sums it up.

Still wondering about the motive.

This discussion is in direct response to comments (generally outside of the Hockey History section) placing Peter Forsberg on a pedestal high above his contemporaries -- the general opinion that he dominated the era. I think the people here are wise enough to know that this was not the case. If he was ever ahead of his peers, it was only marginally and briefly. He did not dominate to the degree that people popularly like to think of him now. The thread illustrates his injuries, and describes what might have been forgotten about his general psyche and style of play. It paints an image of competition during the era for the title of "best player in the league." God forbid people these days judge him by that popular tribute video alone (it has over 900,000 views) or build a profile of him without recalling a lot of the other relevant information about him; I feel that the highlight reels need to be supplemented with other material to provide a greater, more well-rounded recollection of who he was. Too many people otherwise lapse into a state of romanticism regarding this player. Perhaps this thread belongs on the main forum instead.
Quote:

Works Cited

Brunt, Stephen. "Constantine has Penguins Flying in Coach Class." The Globe and Mail (1936-Current): 1. May 08 1999. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .

Reuters. "Gretzky Passes Torch to Jagr." New Brunswick Telegraph JournalJun 25 1999. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2014 .


TheDevilMadeMe 07-19-2014 09:19 AM

This would have been a great thread 5 years ago, when Forsberg was actually the most overrated player on hfboards. I'm not being snarky - it would have been quite useful then to counter all the one-sided pro-Forsberg arguments by a handful of (mostly Swedish) fans.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Regal (Post 88189215)
I think I see far mode posts on this board claiming Forsberg is overrated than people who are actually overrating him. Some people seem to think just comparing him to Crosby is overrating him, and this causes some people to focus on defending him.

Basiscally all this. I think Forsberg got the title of "most overrated player on hfboards" 5 years ago and it's stuck, even as IMO "most overrated" has moved on to Lindros and now seemingly Selanne.

Sentinel 07-19-2014 10:06 AM

I always Forsberg was quite overrated. In playoffs I was not nearly as afraid of him as I was of Sakic, C. Lemieux, Kamensky, or even Drury. And he was pretty darn far from "the most complete player of all time.". That would be Fedorov. :)

TheDevilMadeMe 07-19-2014 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sentinel (Post 88191341)
I always Forsberg was quite overrated. In playoffs I was not nearly as afraid of him as I was of Sakic, C. Lemieux, Kamensky, or even Drury. And he was pretty darn far from "the most complete player of all time.". That would be Fedorov. :)

You can have whatever subjective perception you want, but I think it's crazy to think that Forberg's linemates who he regularly outscored while controlling the play were "scarier" than he was.

Tam O Shanter 07-19-2014 11:05 AM

I always thought he was very, very good defensively when I was half-paying attention to the dull NHL in the late 90's (was a young man then, had more important things to be doing!). He seemed very solid when he became the talk of the league in the early 2000's. I have seen him discredited since beginning reading on here. The narrative being that Selke voters look for 'two-way guys' not defensive specialists like they did in the old days. So, Peter was not that good, but he was good for an offensive player, and his plus-minus that came from having easy matchups (thanks, Joe!) and having a puck possession game, yadda yadda yadda....

Last month I watched two full playoff games against Detroit from 96-97. I absolutely marvelled out Forsberg's penalty-killing. He was a beast in those games.... but, its only two games, and maybe Sakic DID take all the responsibility later on in their careers......

Then, thanks to the very brilliant Hockey-reference site, just last night, due to the many Forsberg threads recently, I went and scoped out his Selke voting history!

Well! Turns out that it in fact WASN'T a collection of two-way stars like today, but rather, well I'll go check -

2003 - Lehtinen, Madden, Walz, FORSBERG, Peca, MODANO, Marchant, FEDOROV, Cooke, Rolston.

There's a top 10, with stars in bold. But uhhh, what gives here, lads? That's a list of forwards who were very un-offensive. These aren't Toews, Bergeron, Kopitar, Datsyuk's.... and all the rhetoric I've heard. This list only re-enforces my belief in the DEFENSIVE prowess of Forsberg, Fedorov and Modano, actually.

When he came second he lost to Peca, Lehtinen right behind him.... Joel Otto, Nik Sundstrom, Modano and Feds again.

Every list I look at contradicts what I've been reading about how Selke voting went downhill. Couple with my memories and my recent viewing of the Detroit-Avs playoff games, I feel there may have been a misrepresentation here, and that, in fact, Forsberg was VERY good defensively.

Mentally, that leads me to his plus/minus being so much ahead of Sakic's over their years on the same team. The answer being that Joe took all the heat, leaving Forsberg with easy matchups. I believe one of the quieter longtime posters on here (maybe plus/minus?) methodically deconstructed that theory a couple of years ago.

Very interesting player historically because he polarizes opinion so much. I think that when people put it down to 'that video' its a little insulting to many of us who felt strongly about him before 'that video'. But there are some really smart posters on here who feel he is horribly overrated. I'm not sure what's going on, although I'll say that I don't encounter that opinion outside of here. I DO encounter the opinion that he was good, and not much else outside of here. It leads me to believe that the vocal crowd that wants to put him in the elite of all time level annoys those that think he's a step down from that and that they, in turn, become more vocal and look to discredit him, while still being respectful because, after all, they feel he was really good, too, just not THAT good.

Interesting dynamic going on, and one that I don't really understand.

My little anecdote for the day is that I work at a sawmill, and the older generation is still in the Don Cherry mindset (and always will be, I bet) Bobby Orr, oldtime hockey, Euros are soft and don't care, etc etc.

I've been bringing up Forsberg nonchalantly (and I haven't in the past), using his HOF induction as the icebreaker, just putting feelers out therefor these guys' opinions. Of course none of them are internet nerds like us so their opinions' are off the cuff , and unspoilt by the frustrations of having heard the other side of this convo (they haven't seen THAT video, for instance). These guys do not readily give Euros credit. Ovechkin is a laughing stock, Lidstrom was good but didn't hit, no one really gives a **** about a guy like that. Jagr, Selanne, respected but no big deal. Sundin and the Sedins, Naslund outright mocked. The Russian Olympic bid ridiculed. Old school Canadians, you know. Anyways, for what its worth, the 4 guys I've talked to all revere Forsberg. "THAT guy. Phew, ya.... I've never seen anyone quite like him. That guy could ****ing do it all." Those type of comments.

I don't know. He's an interesting blip in hockey hictory. A Swede that doesn't fit the mold. Fits the Bobby Orr mold, but different, in a different time, without the obvious dominance - but fiesty, angry, self-sacrificing, good at everything, beautiful to watch, so unusual.

I go back and forth between thinking that there is a crowd that tries too hard to discredit him, usually on goalscoring and health, or using DPE era numbers against him (barely broke 100points), and even talking down Selke voting, to thinking that there is a group, myself in it to a degree, that gives him too much credit for games unplayed, and for being unique. Like, he maybe WAS the most complete star forward, at least since Trottier, but that doesn't mean he was the best, and doesn't mean he was better or as good as Trotts, its only that timing allowed Forsberg to be the toast of the league for a few years, while Trottier wasn't brought into the same focus due to Lafleur and Gretzky.

I will say this, and I am confident in it - he WAS very good defensively. He WAS inspirational to his teammates with the intensity with which he played. Those teammates seem to revere him (and the induction in November should be very interesting in this way) in the way many of us do. Perhaps they saw THAT video. And he WAS top notch in point production over a career of regular season and playoff games. I was actually very surprised when I crunched all the numbers in the Crosby/Forsberg thread on the main board. In his first 9 years (his Colorado years) he played 580 games. Crosby 550. Adjusted to last year's scoring rates Crosby has maintained a 110point pace/82 games. Forsberg was 103/82. I thought the gap would be bigger than that. It makes me feel strongly that, from any angle, even if one thinks lowly of the Selke votes from 15 years ago (which I htink is nonsense), Peter Forsberg was arguably as good, and even arguably slightly better, than Sidney Crosby has been so far in his career. So, he was pretty good.

Fred Taylor 07-19-2014 03:50 PM

This thread is a load of crap IMHO. Forsberg may get overrated by a select few posters, but I maintain that there's more who vastly underrate him than overrate him. This thread focuses on all the negatives about him, while stating any positives are "overrating" him. Fact is when people say he controlled the pace of the game better than or as good as any except the generational talents (Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Howe), there's a reason why so many people say that, and that is of course because it's the truth. He simply dominated games at a level that not even Crosby or Malkin can, or a peak Datsyuk even. He was every bit as good as most people on this board claim him to be. Tons of people say, oh, he played second fiddle to Sakic, he never scored more than 30 goals, Stamkos is better, he would be a top 10 player today, etc., all of that is severely underrating him. I'm just glad most reasonable posters see him for what he was, and that's one of the very best players to ever play.

Let me guess, Bure > Forsberg, am I right?

Fred Taylor 07-19-2014 04:08 PM

For the record, there were lots of claims that Forsberg was the best player in the world before 2003, I've read many quotes and also a book from the hockey news I believe it was that ranked Forsberg ahead of Lindros and Jagr as soon as Lemieux's first retirement. When it comes down to it, IMO, there is nothing that separates the following players at their best, Trottier, Lafleur, Jagr, Yzerman, Sakic, Forsberg, Malkin, Lindros, Crosby, Ovechkin, Lidstrom, Bourque, Potvin, and I may be in the minority about this one, but even Datsyuk. All of those players are the absolute best I've seen since I've been watching hockey in the 70's, other than Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, and are even slightly better IMO than players like Fedorov, Messier, Clarke, Bossy and Selanne. While still amazing, those might be the five most overrated players on this forum. I think a guy like Zetterberg in his prime was even on their level.

Dennis Bonvie 07-19-2014 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sentinel (Post 88191341)
I always Forsberg was quite overrated. In playoffs I was not nearly as afraid of him as I was of Sakic, C. Lemieux, Kamensky, or even Drury. And he was pretty darn far from "the most complete player of all time.". That would be Fedorov. :)

No bias there, eh?

Considering Forsberg's playoff numbers are better than all of those guys.

Dark Shadows 07-19-2014 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sentinel (Post 88191341)
I always Forsberg was quite overrated. In playoffs I was not nearly as afraid of him as I was of Sakic, C. Lemieux, Kamensky, or even Drury. And he was pretty darn far from "the most complete player of all time.". That would be Fedorov. :)

Complete implies the player also has great skills in the physical hitting department.

For Fedorov, you could throw him in with greatest two way players. But complete? Lacks the higher end physicality. Has all the other tools though. No, I am not saying "Complete" is better than two way. Merely stating that you are not complete without the physical aspect.

MS 07-19-2014 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JetsAlternate (Post 88188715)
As good of a player as Peter Forsberg was, it appears this forum has created its own idealized, hyperbolic version of him, overrating his dominance over his peers and sharing their misconceptions of his skill level. This idea of him as "the most complete hockey player who ever lived" is absurd, yet he has attained a monumental, godly degree of admiration, being deemed a far better player than he actually was.

In reality, while Peter Forsberg was a terrific player, he was not the unrivaled player many now believe him to have been.

Interesting post, but I think you're attacking a faulty premise.

There might be the odd few people who overrate Forsberg, especially amongst Colorado fans who romanticize his skills a little bit ... but through his prime he was rarely considered the best forward in the NHL and I don't think anyone thinks of him that way now in retrospect either.

For a stretch of time (1995-2003 or thereabouts) he was probably the best playmaking center in the NHL and augmented that with a very good all-around game and ability to raise his game in the playoffs.

He was probably somewhere from the 3rd-5th best player in the NHL for most of that stretch, when healthy. Would have finished top-3 in NHL in scoring most of those years if he was playing close to the full 82 games.

However, his fragility is something that has to be held against him as it prevented him from delivering the value to his teams that some of his slightly less-talented peers were able to.

And I think that's how most people perceive him. An elite (although certainly not all-time elite or an all-time top-10 player or anything like that) player who was held back by injuries from having the career he perhaps could have.

DisgruntledGoat 07-19-2014 07:32 PM

I would agree with the idea that the backlash against the overrating of Forsberg has reached a point where he is, in general, no longer overrated around here.

As far as HFboards go, Fedorov is now the reigning overrated player and its not even close. At least with Forsberg or Bure or Lindros (other candidates for the crown), I can read descriptions of them and go, 'yeah, that's kind of true although idealized and exaggerated'. With Fedorov, I read things around here and its not even the same player.

JetsAlternate, you say in your first post that, 'Injuries played a major role in how people viewed Forsberg' but you don't really follow up on that. I'm curious if you feel injuries hurt or help his profile.

LarsVonTrier* 07-19-2014 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sentinel (Post 88191341)
I always Forsberg was quite overrated. In playoffs I was not nearly as afraid of him as I was of Sakic, C. Lemieux, Kamensky, or even Drury. And he was pretty darn far from "the most complete player of all time.". That would be Fedorov. :)


lol, other than Sakic, Forsberg made those other guys good. Drury was complete garbage after he left Avs.

And Forsberg was not overrated in playoffs. Dallas Ken Hitchcock said at the time that their primary focus was to shutdown Forsberg and not Sakic.

LarsVonTrier* 07-19-2014 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Taylor (Post 88199309)
This thread is a load of crap IMHO. Forsberg may get overrated by a select few posters, but I maintain that there's more who vastly underrate him than overrate him. This thread focuses on all the negatives about him, while stating any positives are "overrating" him. Fact is when people say he controlled the pace of the game better than or as good as any except the generational talents (Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Howe), there's a reason why so many people say that, and that is of course because it's the truth. He simply dominated games at a level that not even Crosby or Malkin can, or a peak Datsyuk even. He was every bit as good as most people on this board claim him to be. Tons of people say, oh, he played second fiddle to Sakic, he never scored more than 30 goals, Stamkos is better, he would be a top 10 player today, etc., all of that is severely underrating him. I'm just glad most reasonable posters see him for what he was, and that's one of the very best players to ever play.

Let me guess, Bure > Forsberg, am I right?

Well said.

Forsberg is also the only player to win the playoff scoring race twice without reaching the stanley cup finals.


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