Will Forsberg Be Making a Trip Westward?

Jeff Angus

2007-02-17

With the rumors swirling around the net, I figured it was time to devote an entire column to the man they call “Foppa.” Forsberg is easily the most prized and unique player on the market this year. His situation makes it impossible to try and find a comparison to gauge some sense of his trade value.

Forsberg officially has a no-trade clause with the Flyers, which means that theoretically they can only deal him if he gives the go-ahead.  Apparently this has already happened, with Forsberg listing off a handful of teams that he deems appropriate to be traded to.  Rumored to be on the list are Montreal, Nashville, San Jose, Anaheim, Detroit, and Vancouver.  At first glance one would think that Forsberg’s trade value would approach astronomical returns, but upon closer glance that may not be the case.  He has been dogged with foot injuries all season, and while there is always risk involved at the deadline, most teams will not want to trade away young valuable assets for a very injury-prone player.  Forsberg’s no-trade clause also eliminates some of the competition, as there will only be a select number of teams bidding for his services.  There have been rumors that a Forsberg deal will be done soon, perhaps before Wednesday.  One would think the Flyers would wait until the deadline to maximize return, but they may try and appease Forsberg by sending him off early. 

forsbergThe rumored value has ranged anywhere from a blue-chip prospect to multiple first round picks and a young roster player.  I personally think Nashville is the front-runner due to the wealth of young assets and the fact they do not need to send any salary the other way.  Forsberg to Vancouver rumors are strong because of his close friendship with Markus Naslund; as well as being from the same hometown as those dancing Sedin twins.  San Jose may not make sense because they already boast two of the best centers in the game, but they have a shorter window to win than the other teams and may try and stock up to make a push this season.  Anaheim has the assets and the GM to make a big splash, so expect them to stay in these negotiations.  They also possess a young prospect long coveted by the Flyers organization: Bobby Ryan. 

In terms of Forsberg’s fantasy impact, I shouldn’t have to stress how big it is.  Forsberg can turn a 15-goal scorer into a 30-40-goal scorer.  He makes every single player on his team better, from the sixth defenseman to the back-up goalie.  His play of late has been stellar, and many think he has been coasting and is now “warming up” to show potential suitors what he can do when healthy.  Forsberg is one of the best playoff performers in NHL history, and can take a team like Vancouver with a mediocre offense and give them two stellar lines.  Imagine facing San Jose and trying to ma