Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Forsberg never was a Flyer

By Steven Lienert

Peter Forsberg is one captain that isn't going down with his rudderless ship.

And it's disgusting.

I thought hockey players were supposed to be the last bastion of 'team-first' guys. I thought, in hockey, it's all about the crest on the front of your sweater instead of what's stitched across the back of your shoulders.

Forsberg wants out of Philly? Good riddance.

With a 'leader' like Forsberg, it's no wonder the Flyers are the worst team BY FAR in the NHL.

In fact, without Joe Sakic, Forsberg wouldn't be regarded as highly as he is.

Without Sakic donning the 'C' in Denver, Forsberg wouldn't have, couldn't have led the Avs to two Stanley Cup titles. Without Sakic, Forsberg would have been exactly what he is in Philadelphia: A whiny prima-donna that used an ill-fitting skate as an excuse not play for the worst team in hockey.

I was psyched when Forsberg signed here. With a healthy Keith Primeau, two decent goalies and a young Simon Gagne, I thought Forsberg would have been the guy to push the Flyers over the top.

His signing, though, masked the organization's depleted and cement-footed defensive corps. And without another guy to captain the ship, Forsberg was exposed as the fraudulent leader he really is.

That's why the Flyers will never bestow the same honor to Forsberg that they would to some other former captains. You know, guys that new what it meant to be a Flyer.

Yeah, I cheered in 1992 when the Flyers got Lindros and gave away Forsberg. And when Forsberg was hoisting Cups while Lindros sipped on apple sauce, I lamented the trade and wished Forsberg had been a Flyer for life.

Now I'm actually happy with the way things worked out. If we had counted on Forsberg to carry the squad all those years, the team would have had nearly the same amount of success that it had.

Forsberg never got it. And he never will.

Peter the Great my @#%.

Loyal to Lienert? Email him at slienert@phanaticmag.com
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