Forsberg picks a winner

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

SUN MEDIA: Almost every team in the NHL wanted you for the stretch drive, and because of your no-trade clause you basically got to pick your spot. Why did you choose Nashville?

FORSBERG: First of all they're a really good team and they've been playing great all year. I think they have the tools to go far. And I know a few guys here. Like Paul (Kariya), from when he was in Colorado. We got along great. I wanted to go somewhere where it would be fun to play.

SUN MEDIA: Speaking of fun, Philly couldn't have been a lot of fun with the constant losing and the endless injures. Then you come to Nashville and pull your groin. How maddening has this season been for you?

FORSBERG: Very frustrating. We struggled in Philly. I didn't try to hide it or anything. I admit I didn't play good hockey. It was a tough situation. It's a hockey town, such a great place to play, then you struggle and the team is struggling. It was hard. It's hard to not look back but I have to look forward. I'm here now.

SUN MEDIA: You're not used to being on a loser. How did you deal with that unfamiliar territory in Philly?

FORSBERG: Yeah, it's been a while since I've been on a losing team. Even as a kid. I don't think you ever get used to it. It's very frustrating. And it was more frustrating because I couldn't really do anything about it. I felt like I didn't play good hockey. It was hard to help the team. That was the most frustrating part. If you play good and you feel healthy, and you lose, that's one thing, but if you feel you could have done better, that's another. It was my toughest year in the NHL by far, especially when you're talking about such a classy organization that's always had a good team. To come along and not win, that was tough.

SUN MEDIA: Any chance you could go back there as a free agent in the summer and take care of some unfinished business?

FORSBERG: I wouldn't close the door on it. I liked playing there. It's a great hockey town. They really care about hockey and have an owner who really wants to win. I definitely haven't closed that door. What happened in the end is what happens to everybody who's in the last year of their contract. We split in a good way.

SUN MEDIA: Given all you've gone through this year and last, is hockey still fun for you?

FORSBERG: When I'm playing good I enjoy it. When I'm not it's pretty tough. In 2001, when I sat out because I was hurt, and missed the whole year, that's when I realized just how much I missed it. Before that, when you've played 10 years in the league, you take it for granted and think you might want to do something else. But when you sit out, that's when you appreciate how much you miss it.

SUN MEDIA: There was a lot of negative attention in Philadelphia, a city that can be tough on its sports stars. Is it a nice change of pace to be out of the limelight a bit in a non-traditional hockey market?

FORSBERG: This year, yeah. There was a lot of attention in Philly and not all of it was good. Every day. For me, this year, it's great to come here. The hockey is still the same, there's just less tension after practice (with the media).

SUN MEDIA: Mentally, this has been your most challenging year. What keeps you from snapping?

FORSBERG: I actually have snapped a couple of times. But what can you do?All you can do is try and work on getting it better. And we did. I owe a lot to the trainers in Philly. We worked on the foot issue every single day and finally we got it better. They were unbelievable. We put a lot of work into making it better.

SUN MEDIA: Has this just been a run of bad luck or are you injury prone?

forsberg: It went hand-in-hand for a while. If you can't keep your balance on the ice because of your foot, you're going to pull a groin occasionally. It's not like you're going out for a Sunday skate; you're going full speed and guys are trying to run you. If your foot isn't 100% in the skate, something else is going to get hurt compensation. So it went hand-in-hand. And I'm not getting any younger.

SUN MEDIA: What would winning a Stanley Cup this year mean?

FORSBERG: That's a long way off. I'll tell you if it happens, but the way this year has gone, yeah, it would mean a lot.

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QUICK HITS WITH PETER FORSBERG

Q: Did you ever go see the Rocky statue when you were in Philly?

A: Yes, of course. People who came over to see me from Sweden wanted to see it.

Q: Ever shop at Ikea?

A: Yup.

Q: What did you get?

A: I got my whole apartment when I moved to Quebec for the first time.

Q: Worst roommate on the road?

A: Adam Deadmarsh.

Q: Snoring?

A: No, all I ever did was clean up his messes.

Q: Where are your Stanley Cup rings?

A: Back home in a safe.

Q: Did you cry when you won?

A: I don't think I cried when I won. I might have cried when we lost, though.

Q: You think Messier cries too much?

A: (Laughs) No, some people are just emotional.

Q: Favourite band?

A: U2.

Q: You listen to ABBA growing up?

A: Of course you listen to ABBA when you grow up in Sweden.

Q: What's your favourite ABBA song?

A: Hmmm. I don't want to say Dancing Queen.

Q: I wouldn't.

A: Let's go with Mamma Mia.

Q: Yes, Mamma Mia is much cooler. What's your favourite road trip city?

A: Phoenix.

Q: Least favourite?

A: Long Island.

Q: Toughest playoff series?

A: Dallas in 1999 and 2000. They were even tougher than Detroit. Both of those years we lost in Game 7 of the semifinals. I had to play against Hatcher and Matvichuk for 14 games straight. It was like wrestling.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren't a hockey player?

A: Something to do with economics, that's what I went to school for.

Q: Who's bigger in Sweden, you or Annika Sorenstam?

A: Good question. I think she's bigger, but the thing that works against her is she spends most of her time over here and people in Sweden don't get to see her. If she had more tournaments at home, like hockey players have with the national team, she would be 10 times bigger.

Q: Do they call them Swedish meatballs in Sweden, or are they just meatballs over there?

A: Just meatballs, actually. But I never ate ground beef until I was 17.


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