Hello again, FanNation! It has again been a long while since I've stood on my Soapbox, but I haven't completely forgotten about you. I am currently in the midst of my student teaching semester, finishing my degree in agricultural education from Colorado State University. I am nestled in a tiny town in the Rocky Mountains, 62 miles from the nearest...anything. I'm enjoying it, and I have realized that I am very blessed to have landed here for my experience. I'm lovin' life, and I certainly hope you are too.
My prospects for happiness are looking up with the recent news that my favorite player ever, Peter the Great, is on his way back with the Colorado Avalanche. My puckhead friends that have gotten to know me over the years on this site know two things about me - I love the Colorado Avalanche, and Peter Forsberg is the greatest athlete to have ever graced the ice. Hyperbole, to be sure, but I do love Foppa.
Understandably, many NHL fans that aren't emotionally connected to the Avalanche have grown tired with Forsberg's comeback attempts over the past few years. I get that. Really, I do. There are some things that I don't understand, though. First, I don't get why some people think Foppa is treating Avs fans unfairly. As an athlete, only John Elway is held in higher regard in this region. Foppa is more popular than the likes of Sakic, Roy, Helton, or anybody that has ever played for the Nuggets. Saying that, we are well aware that this isn't 2003. If Foppa comes back and plays, awesome. If it doesn't work, we understand. But we'll never feel unfairly treated by the man. So please, don't worry about Avs fans.
Second, the notion that Forsberg would skate with the Avs to get in shape, then sign with another team is beyond ridiculous. That simply will not happen. Colorado is the only place where the fanbase will accept him with open arms. The reason is simple - we love the guy. We also know that he won't be playing every game, and he won't be what he once was. We know what we are getting into. It just won't work anywhere else.
What irks me beyond belief, though, are the constant comparisons to Brett Favre. Simply put, there is simply no comparison. Forsberg wants to play hockey. Favre wants to make money. Forsberg will only play if he can play at an acceptable level. Favre will only play if he can make money. Forsberg has repeatedly stated he will never play for the Red Wings. Favre couldn't wait to go to his team's chief rival. In that sense, they are nothing alike. Foppa has never tried to play the game for anything other than a love of the game. Forsberg has never needed teammates to fly to Sweden to convince him to play. Forsberg played for MoDo in Sweden last year for free to help the team out. There is just no comparison.
Finally, Forsberg has never - NEVER - come out of retirement, despite what many have said in recent days. Even in recent years, he has been up front about the fact that he wants to play in the NHL. Never once has he ever announced his retirement. I really can't understand where that notion came from. Staying away due to health concerns is not retiring. Retiring is retiring. It is a completely different situation that anything that Favre has put fans and teammates through in recent years. In fact, it is completely different than Scott Niedermayer or Mats Sundin of years past. This is a fickle body situation, not a fickle mind situation.
Again, I understand why fans in other markets grow tired of Forsberg attempting to come back every year. Unfortunately, the media circus comes with being one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Please, though, for everyone's sanity, stop the Favre comparisons. They are way off base. And please don't feel sorry for Avs fans. We know what we are getting into with Peter Forsberg. Worst case scenario is that it doesn't work and he's played his last game. At best, he'll play as long as he can and not be quite what he once was. If that happens, though, we'll get to watch our hero a few more times and be happy for it knowing that he is no longer the Hart Trophy winner that he once was.