Horton to leave B's, looks for 'a new beginning'

Horton to leave B's, looks for 'a new beginning'
June 29, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Nathan Horton signed a seven-year, $37.1 million deal with Columbus.

(USA Today Sports Images)

NEW YORK CITY – The radical, immediate alteration to the makeup of the Boston Bruins continues during NHL Draft weekend as Nathan Horton’s agent, Paul Krepelka, informed the Bruins that the free agent right winger won’t be returning to Boston.

Horton indicated to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli that he was looking for "a new beginning” with a different NHL team, and was going to sign with someone else once he became a free agent on July 5.

No offers were ever exchanged between the team and Horton over the last few months, according to Krepelka, and it had nothing to do with any sort of money considerations.

“Nathan loved and appreciated his time in Boston, but he’s looking forward to the chance at a new beginning that’s been made available to him via free agency,” said Krepelka. “This was his choice. This wasn’t a monetary decision. This was the choice that Nathan thought was best for him.”

Instead the 28-year-old right winger after potting 46 goals for the Bruins over the last three seasons, including a pair of years that were cut short by a concussion and the NHL lockout, and then flourishing as a prime time playoff performer.

The Bruins made it to the Stanley Cup Final in each of Horton’s healthy postseasons in Boston, and he finished with 15 goals, 36 points and a plus-31 in 43 postseason games for the Black and Gold. The playoff track record for Horton will make him especially attractive to teams that already boast a playoff-caliber roster, and are looking for an extra piece or two that will put them over the top.

The playoff track record, the relative youth at 28 years old and the size/strength/skill package for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Horton will make him an attractive free agent on the market.  A source close to Horton indicated to CSNNE.com that the winger is looking for something in the neighborhood of a 5-6 year deal worth $6 million per season from his new prospective team.

The Bruins could have plenty of potential solutions for the hole at first line right wing in the trade market, and power forward winger names like David Clarkson, Jarome Iginla and Bryan Bickell will be available in free agency. Clarkson would clearly be the best choice to potentially replace Horton in the Bruins lineup, and is clearly the most Bruins-like player of the available bunch.