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Yet the foot still feels like it’s constantly slipping inside the skate, a predicament that surfaced in the ‘03 playoffs and has hounded him ever since.

“We can fly to the moon, we should be able to fix the foot,” Forsberg said with a sly grin. “It’s been a problem and not one we’ve be able to solve. But it’s OK now. I’m happy with my career and move on from here.”

Forsberg thought he had the foot figured out this time, too. He’s been wearing a brace since his return, one that seemed to be supporting the foot quite nicely.

Against Columbus, he noticed his foot sliding again.

In the Nashville game a day later, it was more discernible.

Forsberg promised his fiancee, Nicole Nordin, that if he couldn’t adequately defend himself on the ice, he would step away.

So he followed through on that promise.

Forsberg was arguably the best two-way player in the NHL during his prime, helping the Avalanche to Stanley Cup titles in 1996 and 2001, and earning the league MVP in 2003.

He was supposed to make his home debut Monday night against Calgary, but didn’t want to disappoint a crowd that has been fiercely loyal to him, so much so his sweater still remains one of the most popular in the stands.

“I couldn’t get on the ice here, and skate around when people expected me to be good and (were) cheering,” Forsberg said.

Forsberg spent more than a decade with the franchise before heading to Philadelphia following the NHL lockout in 2004-05. He donned a Flyers jersey for 1½ seasons before being dealt to Nashville.

Forsberg returned to Denver late in 2007-08, but was limited in the regular season because of a nagging groin injury.

But it’s his foot that’s given him the most grief, possibly costing him his rightful place among the best to have ever laced up the skates.

Not in the eyes of those around him.

“He’s going to go down as one of the best players to ever play the game,” Milan Hejduk said. “That’s the legacy, how he will go down in the books.”

Story Continues →