Nathan Horton, Boston Bruins Part Ways
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By Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)
After three seasons, one Stanley Cup win, and another Stanley Cup Final appearance, Nathan Horton’s agent has informed the Bruins that he will be moving on to test the free agent market.
The Bruins first acquired Horton in a trade with the Florida Panthers following the 2010 season. The Bruins acquired Horton and Gregory Campbell in exchange for Dennis Wideman, the Bruins’ first round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, and the Bruins’ third round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Horton had a good first season in Boston, but it was in the playoffs where he really broke through, scoring eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in just 21 games played before suffering a concussion in Game Three of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Horton’s ability to come up with clutch goals shone through in two Game Seven’s for Boston, scoring the game winner in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, and the game winning goal late in the third period in Game Seven against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Horton’s departure leaves a big hole at right wing for the Bruins, as their only top six winger left on the right side is Tyler Seguin. It’s very likely that the Bruins will be looking for someone to play on the right side, either alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci, or Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. One option the Bruins have to replace Horton on the top line is slotting in Seguin, who has had success in the times he’s been placed on the top line. Seguin’s skill set, especially his speed, complement the line very well and is reminiscent of when Phil Kessel skated with Lucic and Krejci.
The Bruins will miss Horton, as he was close with everyone on the team, as is the norm for this generation of Bruins, but it appears he is chasing one final long term contract that will make him very high paid. As the top right wing on the open market, it isn’t hard to imagine him succeeding.