I had to rub my eyes when I read Tim Sassone's column at 1:30 this morning. Was it a dream? Was I hallucinating? Had I had one too many glasses of Barolo earlier in the evening?
The Blackhawks are serious contenders to sign Peter Forsberg.
Checking elsewhere, I read more. Yes, the Hawks have made a strong, multi-year offer for the 34 year-old, oft-injured superstar center. And he is considering taking it, along with offers from 2-4 other teams.
There are two sides to this discussion.
First, why would the Hawks want Forsberg, whose ankle and foot problems of the last two seasons are well-documented? Because if he's healthy, as rumored, he might still be one of the top 5 players in the game. He's a leader and a proven winner. Simple as that.
The other issue is, why would he want to come to the Blackhawks who are clearly out of the playoff picture this season? What follows are the Top 10 reasons why he might.
10. He rejected an overture from Detroit, in spite of his buddy Nik Lidstrom's presence and a clear shot at a Cup this year. So it ain't all about a Cup run this year or hangin' with fellow Swedes.
9. The Hawks are a team, maybe THE team, on the rise. Foppa probably won't have his game back to 100% 'til next year. He will be under no huge pressure to deliver at 100% this season in Chicago. In fact, he could be a part-time player.
8. Sorry Philly, Vancouver, Denver. Chicago is one of the top cities and media markets in the WORLD.
7. United and SAS have direct non-stops from O'Hare to Stockholm. Think that doesn't matter? Try getting from Vancouver to Sweden sometime.
6. No one currently wears the C above the Indianhead. Hmmmm.
5. Foppa has never played for an original Six Team
4. Denis Savard's system should suit him well. He won't be asked to trap or play left-wing lock.
3. Forsberg doesn't have to carry all the scoring burden in Chicago: Martin Havlat, Pat Kane and Jonathan Toews, even Patrick Sharp, are all legitimate threats in their own right.
2. The Hawks have the most cap room of any team in the bidding, and they are believed to be offering up to 3 years.
1. He could very likely play on a line with Patrick Kane. Together, they would put up unbelievable numbers and be something AMAZING to watch, as they are arguably the two best sets of hands on the planet. And believe me, Forsberg has to be thinking about that possibility.
Might not happen. But it makes more sense than some might think. Stay tuned.