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The Swedish Smoke Screen

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

With Forsberg attempting a return after yet another ankle/foot surgery, the rumors are once again flying about which NHL team might snatch him up at the trade deadline. The usual suspects—Colorado and Philadelphia—make their appearances on the list. But we all know it’s just a pipe dream: Foppa isn’t healthy enough to play, and Philly definitely doesn’t have the cap space.


Then, immediately before the All-Star break, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren informs the media that he has indeed spoken with the Foppa camp regarding a return stint in Philadelphia. His comments launched a flurry of conversations from the journalists and the blogging heads and the chat room boards. How could Homer possibly want an over-the-hill, literally-can’t-stay-on-his-feet, we-only-wish-he-actually-were-a-shadow-of-his-Avalanche-self player when the Flyers can’t even afford the active players already on the payroll?


Allow me to remind everyone that managing a hockey roster is the art of deception. In order to make a trade that no one sees coming, you have to keep their eyes fixed on something else.


Holmgren has to move money before he can put Danny Briere back into the lineup. The problem in executing that trade is manifold. Teams, knowing that the Flyers are against the cap, are going to exact the maximum pound of flesh before surrendering any players.


Briere’s questionable health complicates matters. If Holmgren sacrifices a player and Briere does not return to the lineup, that leaves the Flyers with a gaping offensive hole going into the playoffs.


So why did Holmgren announce before the All-Star break that he had spoken with Forsberg & Co.? Distraction. Everyone’s so busy arguing over the injured star that we might forget to mention a few active NHLers. Like Luca Sbisa, who’s been scratched for the last four games. Or Mike Knuble, who’s a veteran forward slated to be a UFA on July 1. Or Joffrey Lupul, who could be the one truly expendable top six guy wearing the Orange and Black right now. Or Scottie Upshall, who just happens to have the right salary number for this situation.


We’re also not worrying about who Holmgren might actually be shopping for. Jay Bouwmeester, for example.


Handing the No. 21 back to the Forsberg may only be a pipe dream, but it’s a very convenient one for GM Paul Holmgren right now. Fingers crossed that Foppa doesn’t lose his footing before the Flyers have a Briere solution . . .

35 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    Tuesday, January 27, 2009 4:23 pm

    I definitely have to agree with you here. There’s no way Holmgren can actually be considering Forsberg.. I just hope that the Avs aren’t going to pull some stunt like last year and try to get the ‘old crew’ back together!

  2. Tuesday, January 27, 2009 5:21 pm

    In no case do we need another Forsberg Fiasco. Who needs the aggravastion of not knowing if he is suiting up each night, and if he does, how much he can play. We just have to be patient and wait for #48 to come back, and who cares about #21.

    • Tuesday, January 27, 2009 5:55 pm

      I completely agree. Forsberg was terrific for the two season he was here in Philly. I was at game 4 of the 2006 series against Buffalo when he assisted that incredible Desjardins goal – and I will never forget what it felt like to watch that play happen. The whole Center was on the edge of their seats and holding their breath.

      But he’s just not that guy any more, and that’s the rub. What the Flyers need more than scoring is consistency, and Forsberg is as inconsistent these days as they come.

  3. John permalink
    Tuesday, January 27, 2009 7:40 pm

    I would have replied earlier, but that Forsberg link distracted me. 😉

    Oh sure, wish the bad luck on the Avs. We’ll already have enough trouble with the Sharks tonight. The only good part is that it’s at the Pepsi Center and not in the Shark Tank..

    Anyway, what it boils down to is that neither the Flyers or the Avalanche have a use for Foppa. You mentioned the big issues on the Philly side, and really, the last thing Colorado needs is another injured scorer on the roster.
    Besides that, by the time Peter would be even /close/ to joining the team, Stastny will be back in the lineup {6-8 weeks from December 23}.

  4. Tuesday, January 27, 2009 11:23 pm

    Hey, it’s not that I want the Avs to lose. I just want the Flyers to win!

    Maybe Chicago will pick up Forsberg instead . . .

  5. John permalink
    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:57 am

    But then I might be forced to vote for them outright! I’m already kind of pulling for the Hawks because of Quenneville, I don’t need them to sign Forsberg as well. 🙂

    And last night sucked. Why the heck did we have to get San Jose coming out of the All-Star break?! Couldn’t we have played them /before/ All-Star weekend and then started fresh?

  6. Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:08 am

    Hey, starting fresh is no guarantee. We couldn’t even skate with the Florida Panthers last night! Ugh . . .

  7. John permalink
    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:30 am

    Yeah, but couldn’t the schedule-makers have given Colorado a lesser team than the Sharks? Preferably someone we could beat and get out of this freaking slump!

  8. John permalink
    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 9:52 pm

    Hey, at least the Rangers are getting beat up by the Crosby-Malkins, right?

  9. Thursday, January 29, 2009 8:59 am

    Except they didn’t beat up on them! They let the stupid Pens win 6-2. Yet another reason to hate the Rangers . . .

  10. John permalink
    Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:49 am

    But isn’t a Pens win in regulation better than a Rangers win?? And I mean solely from a standings standpoint. You must ignore any bias! 🙂

  11. Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:23 am

    No. I want to see the Penguins go down in flames. I want them to miss the playoffs. I do not want them to win games, gain confidence, and start a roll down the stretch.

    I want all these things far more than I want to see the Rangers lose.

  12. John permalink
    Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:34 am

    Point taken.

  13. John permalink
    Friday, January 30, 2009 4:59 pm

    Well, supposedly there is no more Forsberg diversion for Holmgren. Of course, Foppa indicated that he was calling off the comeback last year before heading to Colorado..

    Anyway, Raycroft lost in his first game against Toronto as a member of the Avalanche. We’re quickly losing ground, with Stastny at least another few weeks away from returning {Yes, I’m desperately hoping that his return sparks the team}.
    Now let’s review folks: Granato has the team sitting at 23-25-1 two games past the All-Star break. Last year the team was 26-24-1 two games past the All-Star break {25-23-1 over the first 49 games} with more severe injury problems! Me thinks management should have done whatever necessary to keep Quenneville behind the bench..

  14. John permalink
    Saturday, January 31, 2009 4:28 pm

    You’ll be delighted to hear that your favorite Av, Ian Laperriere, just scored. 🙂

  15. Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:08 pm

    Sweet! I love it when the gritty guys score, especially ones as awesome as Laperriere.

  16. John permalink
    Sunday, February 1, 2009 10:14 pm

    Yeah, well even that couldn’t save us from another loss. It no longer matters who is in goal I guess. So now I’m going to refocus all of my energies on making Granato into the goat.

  17. John permalink
    Monday, February 2, 2009 10:37 pm

    Back and forth it goes.. Calgary went up 1-0, then Colorado went up 2-1, then Calgary tied it before Salei made it 3-2. And that was all in the first 25 minutes!

  18. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 12:01 am

    Alright, I think it’s a final, but is acting up. Anyway, at the second it’s a 4-3 Avs win with Svatos getting two goals, including the game-winner.

  19. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 9:42 pm

    Well, the resident closet Caps fan should be happy. Not only a Washington win, but over New Jersey. And it was even in regulation!

  20. Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:07 am

    Oh, that was so sweet! I love seeing the Devils lose to anybody. And one of my favorite overlooked Caps – Brooks Laich – even got a goal! Great night for hockey!

  21. John permalink
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 5:13 pm

    A pretty good night for me, with both Edmonton and Calgary losing. But Vancouver won, which sucks..

  22. John permalink
    Thursday, February 5, 2009 9:05 pm

    Well FF, this is it. The final game of our season-high 8-game homestand. We’re 2-5-0 coming into tonight’s finale versus Dallas, and I’m starting to wish I had whatever drugs Francois Giguere is on..

    But anyway, if we win this, maybe we can make a late run once again. If we lose, well, we’ll just ignore that possibility for now. So in summary: Go Avs!

    This is why you write the pregame posts, not me. 😉

  23. John permalink
    Thursday, February 5, 2009 11:25 pm

    3-2, Avs win. That folks, is a winning streak!

  24. John permalink
    Saturday, February 7, 2009 10:56 pm

    Hey FF, guess what I just realized. You know your ‘friend’ Luca Sbisa? I hadn’t realized this before, but you guys drafted him with our pick. You guys got the pick from Columbus –As part of the Umberger deal– who had received the pick from us in the Foote deal. Now, which player would you rather have right now: Foote or Sbisa?

    Oh, and also.. Not even going to show up for a win over the Bruins?!

  25. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:35 pm

    I have a question: I started a season in NHL 2005 as the Avs {The creepy thing is that the ’04-’05 team bares a striking resemblance to the current one} and made Hejduk the captain instead of Sakic.. Is this sacrilegious? 🙂

  26. Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:08 am

    My name is Mike and I run Just curious if you would like to swap links.

    Let me know in a quick comment on my site or email me: nhlsnipers at gmail.

    If so, send me the link you want listed.


  27. John permalink
    Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:35 pm

    Another good day for the closet Caps fan. Philly wins and the guy who got you started as a Washington fan set a new NHL record.

    Me? Well, the Avs are spiraling out of contention and the front office will blame it on injuries. Yeah, that’s the ticket. We’re pretty healthy outside of Stastny and Sakic. And guess what? Those two, plus Ryan Smyth, were hurt last year too.. When we made the Playoffs under Quenneville!

  28. John permalink
    Thursday, February 19, 2009 10:37 pm

    Have you ever had the experience where you glance at the scoreboard and realize that every team that you need to lose is either winning or in OT? Luckily it’s still possible for us to make the Playoffs.. But we’re going to need a pretty good amount of help.

  29. John permalink
    Friday, February 20, 2009 9:45 pm

    Alright, three in a row. We’re still at the bottom of the conference, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

  30. John permalink
    Friday, February 20, 2009 9:53 pm

    Oh, and did I mention that Raycroft was in net for the past three games? And tonight he beat Theodore, if that counts for anything.

  31. John permalink
    Sunday, February 22, 2009 4:04 pm

    It’s always nice to see Ovechkin and the Caps prevail over the Malkin-Crosbys. If Gary Bettman had any sort of brain in his head, he’d make AO the face of the league instead of Crosby.. But no, we have to cater to the ‘casual fan’ instead. Translated: There has to be a goal every two seconds in order to keep their attention. Absolutely no defense is allowed!

    Hopefully Colorado can make my day even better by beating the Canes. It’s 1-1 after 1. {Wolski got the tally, his third straight game with a goal}

  32. John permalink
    Sunday, February 22, 2009 5:40 pm

    Just wonderful. Cullen gets a hat trick {Including an empty-netter} and we lose 5-2. We were outshot in every period, and ended up with a 39-19 disadvantage. Some of the blame has to fall on the goalie {Raycroft}, but getting outshot by 20 isn’t the way to win games, especially when you add in that the Avs were the away team.


  1. The Swedish Smoke Screen | Flyers Fan Central

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