PHILADELPHIA, PA -- A tap and a talk with Bob Hartley sent longtime Calgary Flames forward Curtis Glencross off the ice and down the tunnel. His teammates followed.
As quickly as Flames practice got underway at Class Of 1923 Arena on the University of Pennsylvania campus, Glencross was swiftly ushered off the ice to news that he had been traded from the team he spent the past seven seasons with to the Washington Capitals.
Teammates asked for a final farewell with their alternate captain.
"Kris Russell came to me and asked if it was okay if he went and said goodbye to [Glencross],” Hartley started. “I said, ‘if we're going to send one we might as well send the entire group’. We have plenty of ice available. We're a team and unfortunately players get traded, coaches get fired and it's all part of the daily routine. Those are days in our jobs but it's just about respect."
The gesture was automatic from Russell.
"It's tough seeing a guy like that go,” he said. “He's meant a lot to this organization whether it's on the ice or in the community. We all left the ice and said our goodbyes -- he deserved that. He's been a big part of this team and we wish him the best."
Glencross was touched his teammates reached out.
"It was definitely an emotional moment for me,” said Glencross, who had to waive a no-trade clause in his contract in order to finalize the deal. “I've got a lot of good friends on this team. Bob told me it was Russell that said he wanted to [leave the ice] and say goodbye. It means a lot.
“When you're in one spot for seven years you've got a lot of ties. Calgary has been good to me and I will never regret the seven years I played in Calgary. The fans, organization and everything is top notch.”
Players returned to the ice soon thereafter -- without Glencross.
News trickled in after that the Kindersley, SK native had been dealt to the Capitals in exchange for second and third round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.
"It's never easy seeing a guy go,” said forward Mason Raymond, who rejoined the team Sunday after being in Calgary for the birth of daughter Grace. “Everybody knows and it sounds cliché but this is the business and that's the way that this business goes. I exchanged jerseys with him so I was able to see him right away and say a quick goodbye.
“We'll talk later when things settle for him. It's tough, again it's cliché but it's part of the business and you hate to see it happen to anybody."
After signing with the Flames as an unrestricted free agent in 2008, Glencross spent 418 games with the Flames and was the second-longest player tenured in Calgary. He sits 15th in club history in goals at 114, while his 242 points place him 23rd.
In 53 games for the Flames this season, Glencross had nine goals and 28 points and averaged more than 16 minutes of ice time per game.
He was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1st.
"He was really great to me,” rookie Johnny Gaudreau said. “I was really upset he had to go. He was a really good guy to me and helped me out in my first pro season and I wish him all the best.
"It was the first thing I've ever been a part of -- a trade or anything -- and I'm beginning to realize this is pretty serious, this kind of stuff.”
No one knows that more than Russell, though.
"That's the toughest part about this game, seeing your friends move on and get traded,” he said. “It's part of the game. We've dealt with it throughout our careers. I think with [Glencross] it’s one of those things you'll see him go there and he’ll play great. He'll do good. It's a good opportunity for him but at the same time it sucks that he's leaving.
“We're going to miss the kind of guy he is and what he brings to this locker room."