James Maloney has revealed he has not spoken to Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan since announcing his high-profile departure to Penrith.
Maloney and Flanagan formed a tight bond during the Sharks' drought-breaking NRL premiership title run in 2016.
After being dogged by rumblings of discontent about the size of his pay packet last year, Maloney departed the Shire for Penrith in the off-season as part of a big-money player swap with Matt Moylan.
Moylan said he had had no contact with his former mentor since being granted a release from the final year of his Sharks deal to move to Sydney's west.
"To be honest I haven't spoken to (Flanagan) since," Maloney told Fox Sports' League Life.
"A few of the boys called me. Gal (Paul Gallen) called me and Lewie (Luke Lewis), guys like that. It was a bit out of the blue, it just happened."
Maloney emphasised he had fond memories of his two seasons at the Sharks and maintained good relationships with everyone at the club.
He also revealed the move to the Panthers almost fell over after Moylan's management reportedly went cold on the swap.
However in a whirlwind turn of events, the deal was salvaged while he was in Australian camp during the World Cup and his signing was officially announced in December.
"I had a meeting with Gus (Penrith general manager Phil Gould), just floating the idea of coming. I said 'yeah, look I've got no issue coming'," Maloney said.
"We chatted about what the contract would look like for me to come.
"It all went quiet and it was reported that Moysa's manager said 'no, he'll be staying put'.
"I got a call while I was in World Cup camp saying 'deal's on, done, don't tell anyone, it'll be out soon'."