Forbes played one season with the junior Lachine Maroons (1966–67) and then went to American International University from 1967 to 1971. He played for the Boston Bruins' farm teams in 1971-72 and 1972-73.
Signed as a free agent in 1973 by the Boston Bruins, Forbes made an impact as a defensive-minded forward as he helped guide the Bruins to the finals in 1974 during his rookie season, and to the finals in 1977. Forbes played four seasons with Boston until he was claimed by the Washington Capitals in the Waiver Draft prior to the 1977–78 season. After playing one season with the Capitals, he was released after only playing two games during the 1978–79 season and signed to play for the Cincinnati Stingers of the World Hockey Association.
He retired in the 1979-80 season and became the coach of the Binghamton Dusters for the balance of the season.
Forbes was charged with aggravated assault in 1975 after a stick swinging incident in which Forbes struck Henry Boucha's eye socket in a game against the Minnesota North Stars. He was represented by attorney, Ronald I. Meshbesher and acquitted after a jury could not reach a verdict. Forbes was suspended for 10 games by the NHL. He and the Bruins eventually settled a civil suit for more than a million dollars for effectively ending Boucha's career.
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