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The time Peter Forbserg begged Bob Hartley to play him with a ruptured spleen

It’s been commonplace for several years now. Field hockey players are, well… superhuman, sometimes.

When the playoffs are over, we hear all sorts of stories about the injuries the guys must have sustained during the season and the playoffs, and it’s usually chilling.

Even though they’re pretty banged up, the guys are determined to play and sacrifice their bodies for the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup… And that’s why they’re often referred to as “tough” athletes.

Peter Forsberg’s story is no different. In 2001, the Swede was playing in Colorado and the Avalanche were in the midst of the playoffs. The team was managed by Bib Hartley.

In the seventh game of the second round, Forsberg suffered a serious injury (ruptured spleen) and had to be rushed to the emergency room because he had lost so much blood.

The doctors told him that, fortunately, the injury was not life-threatening and that he would be able to continue living normally afterwards. He was also told that his playoffs were officially over and that he could miss up to five months of activity.

But now…

Even without him, the Avalanche were able to secure their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final, and it was there, on the eve of Game 7 of the Final, that Forsberg walked into Bob Hartley’s office to tell him he felt ready to play.

I told him it didn’t make sense. Even if we needed him, the answer was no. He told me he wanted to talk to Pierre Lacroix (GM), Pierre came down to my office… And the answer was still no. He was really angry. He was really angry. – Bob Hartley

It’s crazy, for real.

Forsberg lost so much blood on the way to the hospital that his life could certainly have been in danger. And he, a few weeks later…

He’s persisting with his coach and GM because he’d like to play in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Do you think he was passionate, Peter Forsberg?…

Seriously, it just shows how much the guys love it. They take their work seriously and will do anything to live every little guy’s ultimate dream, that dream being the chance to lift the Stanley Cup trophy.

They have my respect, honestly. And when I hear stories like these, it seems my respect for NHL players only grows.


– Sick!

– Sounds more like a dream than anything else.

– I can’t wait to see it go in 2023-2024.

– A look back in history.

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