The Florida Panthers enter their 30th season hungry to get back to the playoffs. Last season, their historic and magical playoff run came to a bitter end in the Stanley Cup Final at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights by a series score of 4-1.
One piece of the team that was a big part of their success over the course of last few seasons was forward Patric Hornqvist, racking up 26 goals and 37 assists during that span. This summer, he decided to hang up the skates and retire as a player as unfortunate injuries caught up to the Swedish forward. But, he is not leaving the hockey life quite just yet. On Wednesday, the Panthers announced that he will return to the team as a scouting and development consultant.
His history in the league as a player alone makes him more than qualified for such a role within the organization. He will make great strides in developing future Florida Panther prospects.
He Was the Last Pick in his Draft Class, Telling Young Prospects to Keep Moving Forward
Hornqvist is the textbook definition of the phrase made famous by Drake “started from the bottom, now we’re here.” He was the final selection at 250 in the seventh round in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators. He would spend five seasons with the organization before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. There, he won two Stanley Cups, one of those being against his old home in the Predators. After his time in the steel city, he was traded to the Cats on Sept. 24, 2020.
That experience can tell the youth that they may start their NHL journey off on the wrong foot. However, that should not deter them and they should push to keep going and not give up. Getting into the NHL is never an easy feat. But to give up would simply be a waste when a player has the potential to be something incredible.
His Years of Playing Can Help with Player Analysis
Hornqvist has seen it all in his 14 professional seasons of hockey. From being sent down to the American Hockey League (AHL) to getting a first-hand experience in the NHL postseason to seeing the fast pace of the current league.
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With him being in the scouting department, he knows exactly what to look for in finding the next big thing. With his experience in the NHL, he also understands how much the game has changed from when he played, giving him an advantage in his analysis.
His Leadership Roles in the Past Can Pass Down Leadership Skills Within Team
Between both the Panthers and Penguins, he was given the “A” on his jersey and played alongside a notable captain in forward Sidney Crosby during his time in Pittsburgh. This shows he has excellent leadership skills and is someone to look up to within the organization.
His experience did wonders for the Panthers the past few seasons in terms of passing down valuable lessons for a players career. It should not be an issue with someone coming through the pipeline.
Hornqvist Remains with the Team
As mentioned before, it’s clear he does not want to leave the life of hockey behind quite just yet. As a matter of fact, he was just on the ice with other players in training camp this week.
He loves being a part of the game and he loves the area he lives in, which is why he took the position with Florida. He may not be on the ice for games to establish a net-front presence anymore, but his presence within the organization is going to be extremely valuable for years to come. The front office should be excited to have a man like Hornqvist on their squad.