Bricker said that foam should last without having to be replaced. "Once we get it into all his skates, it's permanent," he said.
Forsberg's Bauer skates cost $439 a pair. The new design might raise the ante, but that seems a small price to pay if he can skate the way he feels he should and be comfortable.
How much did Forsberg pay Bricker, who worked long hours on Thanksgiving to prepare the new insert?
"You don't want to know," Forsberg said, laughing. "He's been great. We've been working hard at it. We've been working on it a long time. He has not given up."
Forsberg said he will not rest until the problem is solved, until he can participate in multiple practices and games with the new boot and still feel as comfortable as he does right now.
His teammates were stunned to see him playing Friday vs. Columbus and Saturday in New York, as he told them he would skip both games until the skate issue was resolved. Bricker solved it late Thanksgiving afternoon.
Forsberg played well in both games. "Since that day, I don't know if he found a solution with the skate, but he looks a lot better and is playing a lot better," Simon Gagne said. "Maybe it's a magic skate. It was Thanksgiving. Maybe someone came late one night and gave him a little gift or something."
Said coach John Stevens: "He looks less frustrated right now. Seems like each day it becomes less and less of an issue. He seemed excited that they were able to find a solution."
Loose pucks. Petr Nedved, Joni Pitkanen and Geoff Sanderson have the flu, which is going around the dressing room. Sanderson was the only one who skated, and he came off early. . . . The Flyers will practice at the Wachovia Center this week because the compressor broke at Skate Zone.
Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or email@example.com.