Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist couldn't find the right words to describe how emotional he felt after New York traded Mats Zuccarello to the Dallas Stars.
"It's tough," Lundqvist said after Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Washington Capitals. "He's a good friend."
Lundqvist, fighting back tears, struggled to piece together a complete sentence before telling reporters, "I can't do it."
The Rangers dealt the 31-year-old Zuccarello to the Stars on Saturday for two conditional draft picks: a 2019 second-rounder and a 2020 third-rounder.
The Rangers' Twitter account also posted an emotional farewell to Zuccarello after the trade was announced.
Zucc,- New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 24, 2019
From your first goal (an OT game winner) you captured the hearts of RangersTown and always made us smile.
Your extra effort.
A Blueshirt through and through.
Once a Ranger, always a Ranger. We thank you.
Zuccarello and Lundqvist had been teammates since Zuccarello debuted in the 2010-11 season.
Through their nine seasons together, Zuccarello totaled 113 goals, 239 assists and 353 points, while Lundqvist went 271-182-47 with a 2.44 goals against average in 509 games while they were teammates.
This season, Zuccarello totaled 11 goals and 25 assists in 46 games.
But the Rangers, who at 27-26-9 have the fifth-fewest points in the Eastern Conference, may not be done making moves before Monday's trade deadline. Earlier this season, they traded Cody McLeod to the Nashville Predators.