To eliminate myself from any bias, allow me start off by saying I was born and raised a Toronto Maple Leafs fan idolizing Mats Sundin. Based on his contributions to my favourite team, he's my favourite player of all time.
Having said that, the greatest Swede ever is retiring today. Something I calculated on my own time that I think a lot of people overlook is that only Gretzky, Lemieux, Dionne, Stastny, and Jagr have more points per game than Peter Forsberg. In my opinion, points per game is the only fair way to measure a player of Peter's caliber given the time he missed.
It's unfortunate that longevity is an oversight most fans succumb to when analyzing a player's career success. Gretzky will go down in history as the greatest player of all time with 1.92 points per game - astonishing. Having said that, he never encountered a life-threatening battle with Hodkin's lymphoma. He never had to play through radiation treatment and concurrently rehabilitate himself from a series of back surgeries. Mario Lemieux did. When Lemieux retired for the first time, he was the only player to retire from the NHL with an average higher than 2 points per game. Lemieux has played 358 less games than any player in the top 10 all-time scorers list and yet he sits 7th with almost 100 points more than legendary Joe Sakic (who played 463 more games).
Still, when you say "The Great One", it's not Lemieux who comes to mind.
My point is this. Forsberg has won two world championships, two Olympic Gold medals, and two Stanley Cups. He won the Calder Memorial trophy as a rookie and later added both the Hart Memorial trophy and the Art Ross trophy in 2003. There really isn't a whole lot more for Foppa to accomplish in the game of hockey but still he's attempted numerous comebacks for pure love of the game. Even with all of this considered, I fear a shortened career will prevent Foppa from receiving the recognition he truly deserves.
That's hockey though. The world may forever debate who the greatest Swedish hockey player of all time is, but my mind is at peace.
Congratulations on an incredible career Peter, you're truly one of the best.