Forsberg attracts interest

Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin wouldn't mind seeing Peter Forsberg ply his trade in Toronto. (Sun...

Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin wouldn't mind seeing Peter Forsberg ply his trade in Toronto. (Sun Media/Michael Peake)

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:15 AM ET

Peter Forsberg is a wanted man.

Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom is lobbying to lure him to Hockeytown.

Vancouver Canucks captain Markus Naslund admits talking to him several times on the phone this past week.

It's less than two weeks to the trade deadline and some of the NHL's top Swedish stars already are crying out for their respective teams to land fellow countryman Forsberg in a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers.

So how about it, Mats Sundin? Wouldn't Forsberg look great in Maple Leaf blue?

"I wouldn't mind, I wouldn't mind it at all," Sundin said with a chuckle yesterday. "I mean, who wouldn't think the addition of Peter Forsberg would make their team better?"

Joking aside, Toronto is not among the frontrunners to land the Flyers forward, who is more likely to end up as a Red Wing, Canuck, Duck or even a Predator.

That is, if he decides to waive his no-trade clause.

In the meantime, Sundin's Leafs must deal with Forsberg as a Flyer tonight when they take on the Eastern Conference cellar-dwellers at the Wachovia Center.

Don't be sucked in by the standings, though. Sundin knows all too well how Forsberg can elevate any team he plays on.

A year ago, Sundin and Forsberg were linemates with the champion Swedish Olympic side in Turin, Italy, and combined to set up Lidstrom for the winning goal in the gold-medal game -- a 3-2 Swedish victory over arch-rival Finland.

"I know the (foot) problems he has experienced, but when he is healthy we all know what he can do," Sundin said.

"Peter's biggest asset is that he is what I call a second-effort player. He is at his best when people hit him, chase him and hunt him down. He never gives up. He's very tenacious on the puck. He wants that puck and will battle for it.

"When he's healthy, he's one of the best in the world."

For their part, the Flyers would like to re-sign Forsberg, a pending unrestricted free agent, for at least another two years.

"I don't have everything in my own hands," Forsberg said earlier this week when asked if he will stay or be dealt. "(The Flyers) have the final say."

His teammates understandably want him to remain in Philly.

"If you look at the identity of our team, you have to look at Peter Forsberg," winger Simon Gagne said. "I think it's important for the Flyers that Peter comes back. I don't think he wants to leave. It's more of a question of whether he wants to play next year."

With a goal and assist, Forsberg was dominant in the Flyers' 6-1 victory over the visiting Wings on Monday, an outcome the Leafs are well aware of.

"It's going to be tough," Sundin said. "(The Flyers) have nothing to lose."

Coach Paul Maurice agrees.

"Any team with Forsberg and Gagne, well, we consider them far more than the last place team in the East," he said.

In other words, the Leafs must be wary of a letdown.


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