One of hockey's great all-around centers, Peter Forsberg, 37, announced his retirement on Feb. 14, 2011 after a chronic problem with his right foot ended his attempt at a comeback with the Colorado Avalanche. Forsberg, who played all or parts of 13 seasons in the NHL, had spent the previous two years in Sweden, playing sporadically for Modo of the Elite League.
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The son of Kent Forsberg, who coached Modo and the Swedish national team, Peter was drafted sixth overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991 but traded to Quebec with four other players, $15 million and future considerations for Eric Lindros, the first overall pick who had refused to play for the Nordiques.
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Forsberg represented Sweden in major international competitions 11 times, but never more famously than at the 1994 Winter Olympics where he scored the gold medal-winning goal in a shootout vs. Canada (Click here for video) . Sweden issued a postage stamp in his honor, and he won Olympic gold again in 2006, assisting on Nicklas Lidstrom's clinching goal.
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Forsberg's NHL debut was delayed by the 1994-95 NHL lockout, but he took the ice with the Nordiques for the first time on Jan. 21, 1995 against the Flyers (he was credited with an assist).
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With center Joe Sakic, Forsberg led Quebec to the 1995 playoffs, winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year with 15 goals and 50 points. After the Nordiques moved to Colorado during the summer of `95, Forsberg scored a career-high 116 points and became a cornerstone, along with Sakic and goaltender Patrick Roy, of a team that won the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001.
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Injuries dogged Forsberg throughout his career. Along with his multiple foot surgeries, he missed a chunk of the 1999-2000 season (shoulder surgery) and the entire 2001-02 regular season after having his spleen removed during Colorado's run to the Cup the previous spring. He returned for the 2002 playoffs and led the NHL in postseason scoring (27 points in 20 games) while helping the Avs reach the conference finals where they fell to Detroit.
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Healthy for 2002-03, Forsberg came back to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer (106 points), and the Hart Trophy as MVP.
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During the NHL lockout of 2004-05, Forsberg returned to Sweden where he played for Modo with the Sedin twins, but his season was cut short by a wrist dislocation and a broken bone in his hand. His ankle problem -- an abnormal arch that stretched his tendons -- continued to bother him and he had surgery during the offseason and continued to try specially-designed skates that would enable him to play comfortably.
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When the NHL's new salary cap put the squeeze on Colorado before the 2005-06 season, Forsberg opted to sign a two year, $115 million deal with Philadelphia, playing in 60 regular season games and scoring 75 points (19 goals, 56 assists).
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In September 2006, Forsberg was named captain of the Flyers, but the team struggled and he was eventually traded to Nashville for Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall and 2007 first- and third-round draft picks. With the Predators, Forsberg scored four points in five playoff games against San Jose, but Nashville lost the first-round series.
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Foot surgery sidelined Forsberg, then an unrestricted free agent, for nearly all of 2007-08, but he returned to Colorado, signing a contract for the rest of the season on Feb. 25, 2008. Though a groin injury limited him to only nine games, he still averaged more than a point per match, and scored five points in seven playoff contests.
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Back in Sweden with his career all but over, Forsberg played in only three games for Modo in 2008-09 and 23 in 2009-10 but decided before the NHL All-Star break in January 2011 to try one more comeback. Signing a $1 million deal to play for Colorado for the rest of the season, he voiced concern about his ankle, but made his debut with the Avs on Feb. 11 against Columbus. He played in two games without scoring a point, and decided to retire. He leaves the NHL with 249 goals and 885 points in 708 career games, ranked fourth all-time in assists per game (. 901) behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr.
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