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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.”

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Forsberg hugs a teammate sensually. (Photo credit: Aftonbladet)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005713165 Pat Magee

    Oh great, another first round pick that won’t come over……

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    If Forsberg wasn’t coming to Washington, I’m pretty sure he would have said something totally different. Be optimistic. And get some Bears tickets for next week :D

  • seandlax9

    The thing with Forsberg is that he has to come over or face IIHF sanctions if the Caps tell him to report. He is contracted, and the only reason Leksand has him is because the Caps loaned him to them.

    Kutzenov, while we own his NHL rights, is not actually contracted with the Capitals franchise yet.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Tommy Salo, where have I heard that name before?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFQnIFN1pYo

  • https://twitter.com/Haddaweezy Holy_Cal

    For what it’s worth, Eklund has the caps talking with the kings.

    Take that with a grain of salt.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    mmmm

    I think the Ducks are a more likely partner than the Kings

    If I were the Kings I’d CHANGE NOTHING

  • MiddleFingerLake

    Forsberg will be here soon enough. No need to rush the kid. If he comes over this weekend and gets some ice with the Bears it will help him decide where he stands.