Patric Hornqvist is officially retiring. The intense net-front presence and heartbeat of the Pittsburgh Penguins back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017, who was traded to the Florida Panthers in 2020 will be honored by both the Penguins and Florida next month.
Florida wisely chose the Dec. 8 Penguins game when the two sides will meet at FLA Live Arena. The teams will honor him before the 7 p.m. faceoff.
Hornqvist retired after last season, his 15th NHL campaign. Concussion issues dogged him for his last season in Florida, so there was not a farewell game. The Swedish winger with boundless energy accepted a job in Florida front office staff as a scouting and development consultant.
Hornqvist’s career began dubiously. He was the final pick of the 2005 NHL Draft, the same one in which Sidney Crosby was the first overall pick. Hornqvist’s career highlight came in 2017 when he scored the Cup-winning goal late in the third period of Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final.
Hornqvist registered 543 points, including 246 goals, and is tied with Niklas Lidstrom and several others for 10th all-time among Swedish-born players. He also appeared in 106 Stanley Cup playoff games with the Nashville Predators, Penguins, and Panthers, producing 53 points (28-25-53).
“Patric’s leadership and unparalleled competitive drive helped to shape the spirit of the Florida Panthers today,” said Panthers General Manager Bill Zito. “He is beloved here in South Florida as well as in Pittsburgh, Nashville, Sweden and throughout the National Hockey League, and we are excited to celebrate his decorated career.”