Alex Forsberg won't suit up again in the Western Hockey League until September.
The disgruntled forward's WHL rights were retained by the Prince George Cougars as general manager Dallas Thompson was unable to find the right deal to move the 2010 first overall bantam draft pick before Thursday's trade deadline.
"I'm disappointed that he's not here," said Thompson. "I'm disappointed in the process, but like I said from the onset we're going to make the best deal for the Prince George Cougars, unfortunately it looks like that may happen later on.
"There was a lot of interest in him but at the end of the day we didn't get the exact deal we were looking for," he added, pointing out he went down to the 2 p.m. deadline with two teams but neither offered the right mix of players he was looking for.
Based on Twitter tweets, it would appear the Regina Pats were one of the WHL teams who made a pitch for the 2013 NHL draft eligible forward.
Forsberg, who turned 18 on Jan. 4, failed to return to Prince George after the holiday break and through an email exchange between Thompson and his dad Blaine Forsberg requested a trade. In the year and a half Forsberg spent with the Cougars, the Waldheim, Sask., native played in 87 games, collecting 24 goals and 59 points. But his defensive game needed work as he was an overall -26 and -18 this season. Both Forsberg and head coach Dean Clark have admitted he wasn't the hardest worker on the team.
His career in the WHL may be on hold, but Forsberg will likely resume playing.
Thompson said he would give Forsberg permission to play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for the rest of this season.
"I don't know where he's going to go," said Thompson. "That's none of my care. We'll deal with that here as we go."
After the WHL trade deadline passed, Forsberg took to his reactivated Twitter account, tweeting "humboldt it is," referring to the Humboldt Broncos, and to former Cougars' teammate Jarrett Fontaine, "I guess I'm gonna get to see this place you call home and are always bragging about."