Swedish star Forsberg returns to NHL club

Swedish star Forsberg returns to NHL club
Swedish centre Peter Forsberg, a former NHL Most Valuable Player pursuing a comeback after a three-year break from the North American league, formally inked a deal on Sunday to return to the Colorado Avalanche.

“Peter believes he can compete at the NHL level based on how his workouts went. He will provide additional leadership to our club and he will have an impact with this young team,” Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said.

The Avalanche did not release the terms of the contract. Forsberg, who began his comeback bid last month when he began practising with the team he sparked to two Stanley Cup titles, said he made his final decision before practice on Sunday.

“I was a little back and forth. I kind of made up my mind before practice if nothing went wrong in practice I would see Greg,” he said.

Forsberg said he didn’t expect to play on Monday against Phoenix and isn’t sure when he’ll play in an NHL game.

“There are a few issues that have to be straightened out first. I’d like to play, but I’m not sure how it’s going to go. I’m here, I came here to try and it’s going pretty good. I’d like to start playing and see if I’m good enough,” he said.

Forsberg, 37, began training with Colorado two weeks ago. He wanted to find out if his chronically injured right foot could handle the rigours of the NHL. He said he had to get into game shape before he could make a decision.

“The first couple of practices were tough. Guys were flying around you and I felt like I was 47 instead of 37,” he said.

Forsberg was a star in his prime, helping the Avalanche win Stanley Cup titles in 1996 and 2001. He won the Hart Trophy as the league MVP in 2003 and the Avalanche said they are happy to have him back.

“When he’s available to us, it will be a big boost for us emotionally and a big boost in our lineup. He has a strong history in our organisation, but we’re not doing it just for that reason. We’re doing it because we really believe that he can help us here down the stretch in the last 30 games,” coach Joe Sacco said.

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