Hornqvist spent last season with Florida, getting into 22 games before being shut down in early December with another concussion although he was skating with the team through their playoff run. Fortunately, this announcement isn’t related to lingering issues from that injury as the veteran confirmed that he’s feeling fine now.
He spent 15 seasons in the NHL between Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Florida and is certainly one of the most successful late-round picks in recent memory as he was picked with the final selection in 2005, going 230th overall. Hornqvist hangs up his skates with the 14th-most games played from that draft class while sitting ninth in scoring with 543 points. His 264 goals are tied for the tenth-most by a Sweden-born player.
Hornqvist also won a pair of Stanley Cup titles with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017 plus a World Championship gold medal in 2018. He was Florida Bill Zito’s first acquisition after Zito took over as general manager, wanting to give the Panthers some grit and an improved net-front presence.
Florida is hoping that Hornqvist will remain in the organization in some capacity, something Zito alluded to back at the draft. For the time being, nothing is set in place at this time although Hornqvist acknowledged there was mutual interest in making something happen. However, for the time being, at least, he has moved his family back to Sweden so if he is to remain with the Panthers organization, it’s likely to be in a scouting or part-time development role in the short term.