Swedish hockey player Peter Forsberg sits in the locker room after decided to pull out of the Karjala Cup tournament saying that his problematic ankle wasn\'t holding up. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Mikael Fritzon/ file
STOCKHOLM - Peter Forsberg has decided not to play for his hometown team Modo this season because his eyes are set on returning to the NHL.
Forsberg made his announcement to Modo hours before the deadline for transfers in the Swedish hockey league. Had he signed with Modo, he would have been able to return to the NHL this season.
"Because my goal is to go back to the NHL," Forsberg told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
The 34-year-old Forsberg has been sidelined with a foot and ankle injury since finishing last season with the Nashville Predators, but has recently indicated that he is hoping to return to the NHL if he recovers from the injury.
He has practised with Modo in his hometown of Ornskoldsvik, raising hopes there that he would play for the team in the Swedish league. Modo sports director Erik Holmberg confirmed that Forsberg informed the club Thursday he would not be available this season.
Forsberg told Aftonbladet that he would continue training before the Feb. 26 deadline to sign with an NHL team.
Philadelphia and Detroit are among a number of NHL clubs who are believed to be interested in Forsberg's services.
"I'm not denying we've had discussions with NHL clubs but we do not intend to discuss it with the media," Forsberg's agent Don Baizley told The Canadian Press on Thursday.
Forsberg won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche and was the NHL's MVP in 2003 after scoring 29 goals and adding 77 assists. He also helped lead Sweden to Olympic gold medals in Lillehammer in 1994 and Turin in 2006.
Injuries have plagued him in recent years and he hasn't played more than 60 games in a season since suiting up for 75 games in 2002-03 with the Avalanche.