Canucks and Beyond

c.2003 Denver and Things Are Looking Up

02/27/2008 at 8:25pm EST

It was 2003 that I first crowned the Avs the Evil Empire (in my own sweetly-quaint hockey shorthand). But things change, of course, and the truth is that hockey hasn’t been quite the same for this Canucks fan in recent years.

Scoring, blah. Shootouts, blah. Big saves? Big deal. Coach of the Year? Pffft. Sometimes it all seems like one never-ending strand of mediocrity that occasionally resembles hockey, occasionally doesn’t. I mean, the games are often great, but my anticipation factor is lower than it used to be.

But now the Colorado Avalanche have decided to change all that. It’s 2003 all over again, and I think I’m about to be reborn.

The reintroduction of Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg… so hard to ignore the symbolism of such acquisitions. And apparently I’m not the only one sort of fascinated by it all.

Forsberg in particular demonstrated IwoCPO’s immense talent for bitterness and vitriol the other day; Jes Golbez feels like he’s back in 2001; the Yankee Canuck is partying like it’s 1999. And geez, I think every hockey pundit on earth has made a “Where’re Patrick Roy and Claude Lemieux?” joke in the last 24 hours.

Despite the kerfuffle a few weeks ago, I’ve never held a desire to see Forsberg play for Vancouver. Not that he isn’t (or wasn’t) a talented Swede—to trick-out the rest of our collection of talented Swedes—but suddenly cheering the guy would’ve required treatment for whiplash, given all the trashtalk I’ve directed that guy’s way over the years.

Regardless, are the Avalanche really that much better with Forsberg?

When I asked a friend that question last night, he told me that I’m just being a bitter, partisan Canucks fan (well, duh) but I can be bitter and partisan without being wrong. (And besides, I can be quasi-objective; for instance, I do think Ruslan Salei was a smart pickup.)

Anyway, I’d love to slag-off the Avalanche for a while, but I’m way out of practice. Which is sort of pathetic, since Woody Paige quotes like this are practically begging to be the setup for a smartassed joke. Sigh.

Fortunately tonight’s game should get me back in the spirit. Even without Forsberg returning to the ice tonight, I’m sure his presence in the building (he’s actually hosting a freakin’ press conference in GM Place before the game) will be oh-so-inspiring…

P.S. Yes, I’m perfectly aware that even thinking about trashing the Avs for picking up Forsberg is idiotic when I consider the fact that my own team traded off Matt Cooke for Matt Pettinger yesterday. But that’s a rant for another time. (I realize most fans disagree with me, but I’ve actually managed to work up a lot of irritation about that trade in the last 24 hours or so… I even hinted at it in my bit in the New York Times today. But not much. Another time.)

P.P.S. And apologies to my favorite Avs fans out there—you know I love you and I’m truly sorry we must become enemies again…

Update 3:55pm PT: Well, I may be able to make fun of that team again sooner than I think. Reading Adrian Dater’s blog post just now (someone sent it to me; I don’t go looking for this stuff!) my first reaction was to tell Adrian to hide his lust better (“Coming up for air”? is he serious?)... but my second was to tell Forsberg to get a bodyguard and shake the stalker.

Of course, my favorite option is just to point and laugh.

First Woody, and now this. I can’t believe I forgot how entertaining the Dive media can be…

Update 7:22pm PT: Wonderful stuff. The reason Forsberg isn’t playing tonight?? Oh, it’s not because of his ankle, and it’s not because of any NHL limitations. And nor is it because he needs a few days to get acquainted with his new team.

The real reason?

Peter Forsberg return to the Avalanche has been delayed slightly as he will not accompany the team back to Colorado as he deals with immigration issues.

Forsberg was taken from Avalanche practice today to the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver. His arrival in Vancouver took nearly 30 hours after flying from Sweden to London, England then from Montreal.

Ha! Unless I’m misunderstanding something here (entirely possible, but let’s just ignore that for a moment, k?) Floppa isn’t being permitted to make any cash from his U.S. employer quite yet. They’re just making sure they get him under that IRS umbrella first… and so he gets hauled away from GM Place.

Beauty. Wonder how Dater missed that? (Well, probably just too much lust, and too little alanah-quality-analysis…)

Update 7:25pm PT: TSN television just agreed with me (sorta) making the statement that Forsberg doesn’t have his U.S. work Visa sorted out yet. (Shame. Terrible shame. Don’t mess with the tax man…)

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