Ever since Anton Forsberg was claimed off of waivers from the Edmonton Oilers, he has settled and secured a spot with the Ottawa Senators.
Anton Forsberg had clearly reached the frustration point. Claimed off waivers by Carolina from Edmonton on January 14, 2021, the club he had signed a free-agent deal with only two months prior, Forsberg was subsequently placed on waivers once again two days later.
The 29-year-old was seriously contemplating returning to his native Sweden rather than keeping his family on the move. Then Forberg placed a call to his biggest fan, his dad, Per-Arne.
“He made me remember what I’ve always worked for – everything you’ve done as a kid – it’s been in mind, I’ve always wanted to be in the NHL. I want to be a starting goalie in the NHL. To just give up because of one little small thing, it’s stupid,” said Forsberg at the Canadian Tire Centre last weekend.
“There’s a lot of times, I’m really close with my dad – he’s the one in family that’s involved with hockey. There’s a lot of times I’ve called him and kind of said that “I’m done.” especially last year with everything going on and up and down. He’s always the positive one. He’s always been the one that’s teached me to tell me to work hard and keep my head up, and be a good teammate and all that. And good things will come. I’m very happy. He’s right so far.”
While the netminder landed in Winnipeg, he never played a game. Just two months later, Anton Forsberg hit the waiver wire for a third time. With Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg on the shelf with injuries, the Senators plucked the goaltender off waivers last March.
Forsberg started his first game with his new team March 25 – stopping 41 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and never looked back.
Parlaying his eight-game stint last season into a one-year contract extension to surpassing expectations in 2021-22, Anton Forsberg is the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association Ottawa Chapter’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport, Forsberg encompasses all this.
Upon learning of his nomination, Forsberg first thoughts, “I feel flattered. It’s been a battle for awhile, obviously. It’s an honour to be nominated. I’m happy that I got this far. I’ve been working hard for it. That’s kind of always been my thing that no matter what, stay positive and work through whatever comes. It’s worked out pretty well so far.”
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Anton Forsberg says 🙅♂️. pic.twitter.com/lmputeS0SC
— NHL (@NHL) March 9, 2022
And Senators’ fans are all the better for it.
“Ever since I showed up last year, I feel I’ve gotten some trust. I played some good games last year. I got an extension. For me, it was a no-brainer to sign an extension once I got it, because I felt it was a good group of guys – good leadership group – it was somewhere I felt comfortable and could get my game going. I knew “Bierkie” (goalie coach Zac Bierk) was here, and I really like working with him. He’s done a lot for me as well. The whole time, even though I wasn’t playing a lot at the beginning of the season, I felt like my game was getting better and better. The work has been a process, so I’m happy,” explained Forsberg.
“The last few years, it’s kind of been a year-by-year thing. I thought I would be able to play at this level in this league. It just took time for me to get used to it. I’ve put in the work for it and now I’m getting success. It happened. It finally turned out to be good. I’m just going to keep working to get better and better.”
The 2011 188th overall Entry Draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ work has certainly paid off in spades.
While the Senators many youngsters have taken the stage for the Senators this season, if it wasn’t for the presence and steadiness of Anton Forsberg between the pipes, these players may not have been able to shine as much as they have.
Appearing in his 100th NHL career regular season game Saturday, Forsberg made 44 saves versus the Montreal Canadiens to lead his team to a 6-4 victory – earning his 20th victory of the campaign. The Swede is the first Senators’ netminder since Craig Anderson (23) in 2017-18 to win 20 games in a season.
Overall, the six-two, 176-pound Forsberg has posted a record of 20-17-4 with 2.82 goals against average and .917 save percentage.
.Now armed with the security of a three-year $8.25 million contract extension, Forsberg, his partner, Jessica, son Ben (3), and daughter Stella (2) are finally able to settle down, dipping into the Ottawa area housing market.
Forsberg was appreciative of what the deal means to his family.
“It was almost as if I felt more happy for the family. We finally got to make a home in that way. With the moving around last year, when I was by myself it was kind of easy to move around because you basically take your bag and go to the next place. But now, it’s a family decision. I was kind of feeling bad there for awhile, when she has to move around with me, and the bring the kids – they went to a few different daycares and stuff last year. I think my son (Ben) is on his fourth right now, and he’s three years old. I’m here to play hockey. I’m living my dream. They kind of follow me around. A lot of credit for them too, for everything they’ve gone through too for me to fulfill my dream,”
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