Patric Hornqvist says he was 'blindsided' by the trade that sent him from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Florida Panthers, but insists waiving his no trade clause to do so was a no-brainer.

“This came up and blindsided me because I had a no-move clause. 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,” Hornqvist said on a Panthers conference call. “I’m super excited to go down there and help them win some games.”

"It’s been obviously a little crazy. 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," he added.

Hornqvist won two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, but says he's excited to try and win another now with Florida.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity,” he said. “They have a great group of young core players. Barkov is probably the most underrated player in the league and I’m super excited to play with them. And with the coach we have, too, we know what we need to win. I think that’s the reason why they want me there.”

While Hornqvist was clearly somewhat bitter about the trade, he had nothing but good things to say about his former Penguin teammates.

“The last six years of my hockey career has always been great in Pittsburgh. We won two Stanley Cups and I got a chance to play with ... two of the top players ever,” he said. “To win with them and with the organization, it means a lot.”

The deal, in which the Panthers sent defenseman Mike Matheson and forward Colton Sceviour to the Penguins, was first reported Wednesday. However, Hornqvist had to waive his no-trade clause for the transaction to go through, and it wasn't finalized until Thursday.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2020  (10H08)