Related Biography: Hockey Player Peter Forsberg
As second-line center and left wing to Joe Sakic's first-line center, Peter Forsberg helps make the Colorado Avalanche a formidable team. Sakic and Forsberg have tied as the two best players in the NHL, and, although opposite in temperament, they complement one another on the ice.
Austin Murphy of Sports Illustrated compared Sakic and Forsberg to Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier of the Edmonton Oilers. Forsberg's name became a household word in his native Sweden during the mid-1990s. There, he is considered the equivalent of basketball star Michael Jordan in the United States.
Peter Forsberg was born July 20, 1973, in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, the son of hockey coach Kent Forsberg and Gudrun Forsberg. He began playing hockey at an early age and was a member of the MoDo Hockey Club in the Swedish Elite League as a teenager. Even then, he showed remarkable skill and competitiveness in the game. By 1993-94 he was named Swedish League player of the year. He was picked for the NHL's 1991 entry draft by the Philadelphia Flyers but waited to accept the contract until he could further develop his skills. In 1992, the Flyers traded him to the Quebec Nordiques. In 1994, Forsberg played in the Lillehammer, Norway, Winter Olympics, and his team became the first Swedish team to win the gold medal. Forsberg's final shot against Canada's Paul Kariya won the game, and Sweden issued a postage stamp featuring Forsberg and the team.
In 1994-95 with the Nordiques, Forsberg was named Rookie of the Year by the NHL and won the Calder Memorial Award. He moved to Denver, Colorado, when the Nordiques became the Avalanche and began playing with Sakic. The team won the Stanley Cup that year, with Forsberg scoring ten postseason goals. He brought the Cup to Sweden for the first time in history. He also helped the Avalanche to a second Stanley Cup in 2000-2001. Forsberg missed the regular season in 2001-2002 while recovering from a spleen operation and ankle surgeries but was back for the playoffs and led all scorers with twenty-seven points in twenty games.