Forsberg Signs Deal With Flyers

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Peter Forsberg will finally play for the Philadelphia Flyers, who signed the former NHL most valuable player Wednesday to a two-year, $11.5-million contract.

The Flyers drafted Forsberg in 1991 but dealt him in the Eric Lindros trade to Quebec in 1992. Since then, Forsberg has become one of the best players in the game, a seven-time All-Star and the league’s MVP with the Colorado Avalanche in 2003.

Avalanche officials said they offered Forsberg the maximum they could afford, $13.5 million over four years, then announced that they had signed veterans Pierre Turgeon, a center, and Patrice Brisebois, a defenseman, to two-year contracts.

Forsberg helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001, though injuries limited him to 39 games in 2003-04. Last year, he played in the Swedish Elite League.


Forsberg was drafted sixth overall by the Flyers, but his rights were traded a year later with Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Ron Hextall, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, two draft picks and cash to the Quebec Nordiques for Lindros.

Unable to keep Forsberg, the Avalanche moved quickly to sign Turgeon. Turgeon, a 17-year veteran and four-time All-Star, will replace Forsberg at center.


Jarome Iginla is staying with the Calgary Flames. Iginla, a restricted free agent, agreed to a three-year, $21-million deal.


The $7 million a season puts the 28-year-old right wing fifth on the NHL’s list of highest-paid players behind Jaromir Jagr, Keith Tkachuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Alexei Yashin.


The New York Islanders traded defenseman Michael Peca to the Edmonton Oilers for center Mike York, shortly after signing high-scoring forward Miroslav Satan to a three-year contract. Satan’s signing came three days after he was released by the Buffalo Sabres.

The Oilers pulled off their second major trade in two days as they acquired defenseman Chris Pronger from St. Louis late Tuesday night for defensemen Eric Brewer, Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka. The Oilers gave Pronger a five-year deal at $6.25 million a season.



Hours after backing out of a verbal deal, Dallas forward Mike Modano agreed to a five-year, $17.25-million contract with the Stars.... Defenseman Brian Leetch signed a one-year, $4-million contract with the Boston Bruins. He played 17 seasons with the New York Rangers until he was traded in March 2004 to Toronto.


The Czech hockey federation followed the Russian hockey federation and rejected the player transfer agreement reached by the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation. They are seeking higher compensation from NHL clubs for drafting and signing their players.


The NHL agreed to pay $12.5 million a year to a development fund in Russia and set a sliding scale to compensate European teams based on players’ draft position. Russian clubs have said they want to deal directly with NHL clubs for payment. Should the federations refuse to accept the agreement, the participation of NHL players at the Turin Olympics could be jeopardized.

“We intend to continue working with the IIHF and its member federations regarding the framework we have proposed for the continuation of the player transfer agreement,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an e-mail to The Times.


Gilles Muller defeated ninth-seeded Nicolas Massu, 7-6 (2), 6-4, in the second round of the Legg Mason Classic at Washington. He will next play Arnaud Clement, who beat Richard Bloomfield, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7).


In other matches, Robby Ginepri defeated 12th-seeded Karol Beck, 6-3, 6-4; Bobby Reynolds beat 15th-seeded Ricardo Mello, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, and eighth-seeded Sebastien Grosjean beat Alexander Popp, 6-2, 6-3.

Motor Racing

The final piece in the fabric of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, America’s longest running street race, was put in place when Toyota of USA and the Southern California Toyota Dealers Assn. agreed to continue as the race sponsor for the next five years.

“Keeping Toyota will have a major impact on our event,” said Jim Michaelian, president and chief executive of the Grand Prix Assn. of Long Beach, producers of the race weekend.


The 2006 event is scheduled for April 7-9.

The Grand Prix Assn. contract with the City of Long Beach to produce a street race extends through 2010, the same period as the sponsorship extension.


Unable to reach an agreement to fight heavyweight titleholders Vitali Klitschko (World Boxing Council) or Chris Byrd (International Boxing Federation), James Toney (68-4-2, 43 knockouts) will stage his comeback fight against Dominic Guinn (25-2-1, 18). The bout is scheduled for Oct. 1 at a site to be determined.


It will be Toney’s first ring appearance since being stripped of the World Boxing Assn. heavyweight title he won from John Ruiz in April. That fight was declared no contest after Toney’s postfight urine test revealed the presence of an anabolic steroid.


Defending champion Jane Park and 17-year-old Morgan Pressel were among the winners in the opening round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Roswell, Ga. Park, who will play for USC, defeated Julie Huh, 4 and 3. Pressel, the runner-up in last month’s U.S. Open, beat Sooji Sho, 7 and 5.

Pro Football


Matt Millen, president of the Detroit Lions, has agreed to a five-year contract extension, owner William Clay Ford Sr. announced. Millen, who is in the fifth and last season of his original contract, said that he agreed to the deal last month, but the announcement was delayed to avoid taking the focus off the team.


Zinedine Zidane is coming out of international retirement to help France qualify for the 2006 World Cup, he said on his website.

The 33-year-old Real Madrid midfielder helped France win the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship. He retired after last summer’s European Championships