Should the Predators entertain Forsberg?…
- Updated: September 28, 2009
Former Nashville Predators “blockbuster” acquisition Peter Forsberg is attempting a comeback.
The oft-injured forward has been struggling with a foot injury for the past few years and, supposedly, he feels like he’s ready to play a full season.
That being said, should David Poile and the Predators take a shot at him?
Think about it: this would be a much different situation than 2006. When Nashville sent Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and some picks to Philadelphia for Forsberg, it was basically a deadline deal. Foppa was only able to suit up for 17 games in the regular season and five games in the playoffs. Starting the season with Forsberg would be a much different story.
Assuming Forsberg is, in fact, ready to play an entire season, the Preds could expect 60 games out of the 36-year old and, quite frankly, 60 games is enough to generate 65-70 points, strike fear in the heart of goalies every time he touches the puck and even force opposing coaches to gameplan specifically against him. Bottom line: he’d warrant a lot of attention and that’s a good thing.
It was no secret that Forsberg loved Nashville. He enjoyed being able to go out to dinner and not be bothered by fans or by cameras. He loved his teammates and really wanted to put his best foot forward while in Music City. Unfortunately, at this point in his career, he wants to go to a contender and Nashville doesn’t exactly fall into the classification of “contender.” But, with a full 82 games from Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott, JP Dumont, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, the Preds will certainly be in the thick of things. With the addition of a “healthy” Foppa, the Preds would at least be forced into the discussion. And, if they hit February and things don’t look good, Poile can always trade him in a role-reversal of 2006. (Just think what a package deal of Forsberg and Alexander Radulov‘s rights would bring at the deadline…)
Also, the former Stanley Cup Champion would bring a winning attitude to the clubhouse, something the front office has tried to instill into the team recently. His best years may be behind him but that mentality never waivers and this would be just another move to bring that winning presence to the team.
There are also some negatives to bringing in the future Hall of Famer. Obviously, there’s the concern of injury. Forbserg hasn’t played more than 70 regular season games since 2002-03. There’s also the money situation. Nashville was reportedly unwilling to pay Phil Kessel $5 million/year. And he hasn’t even hit his prime yet. Common sense would indicate there’s no way Poile would offer Forsberg the same, especially given the injury potential and the fact that he’s well past his prime.
Another thing that Foppa-proponents might forget is actually a very simple question: who’s he going to play with? Forsberg was a natural fit alongside guys like Paul Kariya and Radulov. Nashville doesn’t exactly have that talent level anymore and, quite frankly, Forsberg needs that talent level to skate with. He needs a guy who can keep up with his improvisation, his creativity and his unconventional style. Some would argue that Sullivan could keep up – which is true – but Sullivan is still an injury risk as well. What happens if the “Timmons Tornado” goes down? The Preds don’t really have anyone else who could keep up.
It’s certainly not being suggested that Forbserg is rendered useless without Sullivan. Quite the contrary. Fosberg is one of the few players who can create by himself. It is being suggested, however, that Forbserg is most productive when playing with a specific type of player and Nashville just doesn’t have many of those.
And what about the domino effect? The team is already deep with centermen so Marcel Goc, Cal O’Reilly and Colin Wilson would have to be given plane tikets to Milwaukee. No team can justify relegating Forsberg to the third line so Mike Santorelli would even be forced out of his new found position of 2nd line winger, regardless of how they decided to make up the top two lines. And speaking of the top five forwards, does David Legwand move to the wing again? Do they move Sullivan to the second line, essentially deconstructing the chemistry that Arnott, Dumont and Sullivan already have?
There are just too many questions. Granted, someone of Forsberg’s talent level (a healthy Forsberg’s talent level) will provide plenty of answers, it’s still a very risky proposition.
Poile has been active in trying to bring in some secondary scoring but bringing in Forsberg is more like Russian Roulette than it is trying to solve secondary scoring.