Like Justin Timberlake, NBA games and Oprah, Forsberg refuses to go away despite my novice voodoo attempts. With everyone tripping over themselves anointing the Preds the cup champions already (and yes Kelley, they would snicker in Vancouver), Sheridan nails this trade from the Flyers end. Nothing personal, but obviously Forsberg’s best years were not in Philly and, as a result, they accepted reality:
The Flyers are the worst team in the NHL with Forsberg. They are not going to win a Stanley Cup this year or next year. They have to continue to get younger and quicker and more skilled. By the time their nucleus came together, Forsberg would have been gone anyway.
While it’s great if you’re actually Forsberg himself to go from worst to
first second, it's debatable if the Preds even need him. I understand the ancillary gains made by Poile which, above all, is get more people in those damn seats to watch the #1 #2 team in the league in arguably one of the most hockey-deaf towns in the hemisphere (averaging 14,695 fans per home game, ranking 23rd out of the 30 teams).
No one will know - until the Preds hoist the cup or are bumped out early - if Forsberg’s price was worth it. However, in contrast, there’s no reason you couldn’t argue a team that is already firing on almost all cylinders could have paid less to bring in a guy like Tkachuk or even Smyth (assuming the latter really will be moved). In the end, their gamble is huge, the window is short, being the best team in the league hardly means much when the post season rolls around and, above all, the man in the middle of it all is, well…
"He's a great player," general manager Paul Holmgren said, adding a few words that said it all: "When he's playing."
Lastly, how do you think the grand pooba Bettman is taking this? Namely, looking at the enhanced possibility of having Nashville follow in Stanley's steps after previous stops in Carolina & Tampa Bay? And you thought the TV stats for the All-Star game were poor? Oy…