Forsberg Joins Avalanche In Vancouver; Not Likely To Play

By: AP
By: AP

Peter Forsberg skated with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday for the first time since his surprise signing and return to the NHL two days earlier.

Forsberg, who traveled to Vancouver from his native Sweden, skated for close to an hour, but is not expected to play against the Canucks on Wednesday night.

He hasn't played this season because of an ongoing ankle problem, but skated with seven other players during an optional game-day skate, and continued on his own for almost 20 minutes after they left the ice.

Colorado declined to make Forsberg available to the media after his skate as per league guidelines, but has scheduled a news conference with the 34-year-old former MVP later Wednesday.

While Forsberg isn't expected to return Wednesday, the Avalanche, who are two points behind the Canucks and Nashville for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, will have new defenseman Ruslan Salei and returning defenseman Adam Foote in the lineup.

Foote, who like Forsberg was a member of Colorado s last Stanley Cup win in 2001 and also left as a free agent after the 2003-04 season, was re-acquired from Columbus before Tuesday's trade deadline.

He joined the team late in the first period of a 3-2 win in Calgary on Tuesday night. Salei, acquired in a trade with Florida Tuesday, is expected to make his debut against the Canucks.

"It s a positive emotional lift getting big Pete back and getting Rusty on the back end there, said Colorado forward Scott Parker, who was also a member of the 2001 Stanley Cup winning team with Forsberg and Foote.

"I don t want to say powerhouse, but we 'e got a pretty thick lineup now."

Forsberg won two Stanley Cups and the 2003 Hart Trophy as MVP in Colorado before signing with Philadelphia in 2005.

He was traded to Nashville last year and hasn't played in the NHL since the Predators were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs.


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