Forsberg (center) celebrates Leksand’s promotion to the Elitserien with his teammates. (Photo credit: Aftonbladet)
Last Friday afternoon, Capitals General Manager George McPhee discussed the organization’s top prospects, including 2012 first-round pick Filip Forsberg. McPhee made it clear that he’d like the 18-year-old Swede to join the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears after his season is finished with Leksand on April 5th.
But if Leksand General Manager Tommy Salo has his way, Forsberg will stay in Sweden for one more season.
While speaking to Aftonbladet’s Per Bohman (and lovingly translated by Jake Ware), Salo said of Forsberg, “[He] is getting better every year. He is our key player and we hope have him on loan for one more year (from the Washington Capitals).”
When reminded of his opinion earlier in the season that Forsberg needs another year in Sweden to be ready for the rigors of the NHL, the former Islanders goaltender responded, “Yes, that’s absolutely true. There is of course a difference in quality between the Allsvenskan and the NHL. He is young, has his entire career ahead of him, and we want to keep him for one more year.”
Forsberg admitted he wasn’t ready to discuss the future when Aftonbladet spoke to him during the team’s on-ice celebration.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” Forsberg said. “It’s great that Tommy wants to have me back, but I can’t talk about it so soon after the game and our promotion.”
Great diplomatic answer, Filip.
With or without Forsberg, Salo is sure that his current group is good enough to do well in the Elitserien next season. His focus is now on getting the key players to stay.
“That’s how it’s gotta be,” Salo said. “We will work with the players we have.”
Forsberg hugs a teammate sensually. (Photo credit: Aftonbladet)