Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


A difference maker

The following was received this morning from RL's intrepid NY Rangers' correspondent. Enjoy. - ninja

Chasing Forsberg: Ottawa in the hunt...

As we all know (just trust me), I've been very wrong about many hockey-related items in the past. One theme that has proved a near-constant is my frequently incorrect assertion that Peter Forsberg is a difference-maker when it comes to a Stanley Cup run.

Now, I know on the skin of things, he is in fact a difference-maker. And I doubt any sane-minded individual would question that. But my prognostications have always gone a bit beyond that and, it turns out, a bit too far. At various times I have said each of the following:

--- "Forsberg, coming back from (insert injury), will lead the Avs to another Cup. No question."

--- "Sweet turds, Philly signed Forsberg. Crap!"

--- "Nashville is the team to beat with the kid from Ornskoldsvik on board! You just watch!"

And watch we all did. We watched Forsberg get hurt and the Avs fail. We watched Philly go from top to bottom and Nashville lose their legs just as someone (who shall remain spleenless) was added to their team. At every turn, my predicitions, based on my faith in Forsberg, were incorrect.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe that for some time Peter Forsberg was the best hockey player in the known universe. And I still believe that his body has more hockey talent than nearly anyone else in the world. It just so happens that his body is made up of plastic screws, jello, and duct tape at this point. And, as a result, his immense talents are finding it difficult to overcome his brittle frame. It turns out that "Foppa" means "injury-prone" in several North Germanic languages.

Why do I bring this up? Well, because my first instinct on reading the article referenced above was the same as it's always been. I thought, "Holy cow, can anyone stop the Sens now?!? They were in the Cup finals and now they've added a difference-maker."

But for once I caught myself. For the first time in recorded history, I tempered that conclusion with something that approached an actual rational thought. I said to myself, "Yeah, Heatley and Spezza and Alfredsson and Forsberg sounds great, but count the sentences in that article until they use the phrase "health issues". (It's eight.)

And note how they casually mention that these "health issues" leave Injury Prone and his agent months (!) from making a decision? When does the hockey season start again? Let's just say I am not sold on this.

So here I am, a Forsberg-backer from my formative years, here to tell you, my favorite Leaf Fan, to put on your #21 Senators jersey and get out those pom-poms, because if I know anything for certain, it's this: Peter Forsberg is a difference maker.

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  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger The Dark Ranger said…

    $4-5 million for "The World's Greatest Hockey Player" seem a bit much for a guy who's skates don't fit.

    The Dark Ranger

  • At 6:24 AM, Anonymous John M said…

    There's no debating the history of Peter Forsberg in regards to his unsurpassed talent/effort package over time, nor the effect that has on any team he laces up for. But at the same time there's equally little debate over the same qualities of Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, Adam Foote and Joe Blake. If any team thinks that a Forsberg signing alone makes them a cup contender then they're not in the right sport. As for the injury factor? Well that's another matter entirely, theres even less debating that the healthiest team almost always wins the Stanley Cup.

    If I'm Bryan Murray however in my first year as GM in Ottawa, I take that gamble cause 1. There's no other way under the current CBA to freely make changes and 2. I haven't used any mulligans yet.
    But I'm not Bryan Murray and if he ends up winning the Forsberg sweepstakes, in my opinion history will indeed call it a mulligan.


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