A number of sources are reporting that 36-year old center Peter Forsberg, currently playing with Team Sweden in the Karjala Cup, is trying to make a comeback to the NHL. Reports are that he’s as healthy as he’s been in at least three years, and is skating well enough to draw interest from a number of NHL clubs.
Among the teams that reportedly have scouts watching Forsberg are a couple of his former teams, the Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche, as well as the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.
Perhaps the hottest rumor surrounds the Red Wings, who are playing without two of their top three centers because of injury. Johan Franzen is out for most of the season with a torn ACL, and Valterri Filppula is expected to miss up to eight weeks with a broken wrist.
The Blackhawks potentially scouting another center raises at least my eye brows for a number of reasons. When healthy, the Blackhawks have three solid centers in captain Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland and John Madden. Whether or not Forsberg, who has scored 885 points in 706 career NHL games, would want to return as a third or fourth line center is questionable.
But my eyebrows stay in an upright position considering the health of the Hawks centers. Toews has now been out over two weeks with concussion-like symptoms, and Bolland has been dealing with a bad back for the entire season. The Hawks are currently playing well, but have been mixing up their centers on the third and fourth lines every night because of injuries. Andrew Ebbett, Colin Fraser, Tomas Kopecky and Jake Dowell have all spent time in the faceoff circle, and even Jordan Hendry has been asked to play forward because of the injuries.
How, when, and where Forsberg returns to the NHL will be interesting. If it’s in Chicago or Detroit, the balance of power in the Central Division could shift with his arrival.