Acquired by the Panthers from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade that saw defenseman Mike Matheson and forward Colton Sceviour go the other way on Thursday, veteran forward Patric Hornqvist was shocked to be on the move.
But in the end, his decision to approve the trade wasn’t difficult.
“This came up and blindsided me because I had a no-move clause,” Hornqvist said Friday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Matt Vensel . “But then I find out that Pittsburgh didn’t want me and Florida really wants me, and it was an easy choice for me and my family. I’m super excited to go down there and help them win some games.”
The trade was first reported on Wednesday, however Hornqvist had to waive his no-trade clause for the transaction to go through, and it wasn’t finalized until Thursday.
“It’s been obviously a little crazy,” he went on to explain. “It was obviously a tough situation for me and my family, when you get blindsided a little bit. When you know you have a no-trade, you don’t think this kind of question is going to come up. When it came up, I took my time to go through every scenario.”
The move came as a surprise to the fanbase in Pittsburgh seeing that Hornqvist played a key role in the back to back championship the Penguins won in 2016 and 2017. He spent the last six seasons with the Penguins, after playing his first six NHL campaigns with the Nashville Predators.
He now sees a lot of potential in the Panthers and is excited on what he will bring to the dressing room.
“I think they have a really good [core] of young players who are on the way up,” he said to his new club’s website. “What I can bring to the team is leadership, experience, and some playoff hockey, obviously. I think the fit is perfect for me and my family. We’re super excited to go down to Florida and help the team to win.”
Goodbye Pittsburgh, hello Florida!