Horton hospitalized after hit to the head

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Horton hospitalized after hit to the head

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome sent the Bruins' Nathan Horton to the hospital with a hit to the head in the first period of Game 3, once again opening up the NHLs version of a Pandoras Box.

Bostons smiling right winger had just completed a pass while coming through the neutral zone whenRome stepped into him and hit him high with his shoulder. Horton snapped back and fell, banging his head hard against the ice.

Horton was motionless for several minutes, appearing to be dazed as he lie in a strangely still position. He was strapped to a board, taken off the ice on a stretcher, and transported to Massachusetts General Hopsital. The only medical update offered by the Bruins was that he was "alert and responsive" and "moving all his extremities," but one of the medical people working on Horton later told CSNNE's Mike Giardi that Horton thought he was still in Vancouver."

There was clearly an agreement that the hit on Horton a lateral blow to the head was tardy by virtually anyones interpretation of the events. Horton had already released a pass from his stick in the neutral zone and had taken several strides before Rome lowered the boom on him.

Opinions differ as to whether it was a blindside hit. Many feel it was; for the most part, the Canucks feel it was simply a late hit. Some NHL observers say the fact that Horton didn't see Rome before the blow doesn't, in and of itself, make it a blindside hit.

In any case, Rome was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct, and CSNNE.com confirmed through a league source that he has a meeting scheduled with NHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy for Tuesday morning. He is likely looking at a one- to two-game suspension.

The Bruins' Shawn Thornton was teammates with Rome in Anaheim in the NHL and Portland in the AHL, and said he knows him to be an "honest player". But the personal connection didnt stop the Bs enforcer from saying that type of hit is exactly what the NHL is trying to stamp out of the game before more players careers end prematurely due to frightful cases of brain damage and post-concussion syndrome.

I think thats the stuff were trying to get out of the game and get rid of, said Thornton. I hope Horton's okay. Im sure well get some more news. As players, and with the culture of the game, thats the kind of stuff that we need to get out of the game with the head shots. Its in the leagues hands now and Im sure theyll do the right thing.

Hortons one of the best guys Ive ever played with. Hes always happy and hes always in a good mood, and he always has a smile on his face. Hes so positive. To see anybody go down you really want to rally around them, but especially for him because hes been such a positive influence on this squad all year.

An agitated Thornton was staring at the Vancouver bench as Horton was getting wheeled off the ice on the stretcher right before both benches tapped their sticks against the boards.

I played with Rome and from what I know of him he is an honest player," said Thornton. "But that doesnt take from the fact that it was a lateral hit to the head. Thats what the rule was set into place for, as far as Im concerned.

"But Aaron Rome is a good person. Im not saying hes a bad person, but thats something that we as players have to get out of the game."

Early Tuesday morning, Rome's agent, Jarrett Bousquet, told TSN's Bob McKenzie: "Aaron told me he was sad to see Horton lying on the ice because Rome's been hit in the head twice within the year and would never intend to injure another player. He hopes Horton is okay and is sorry."

In the Canucks' dressing room, the Sedin twins both said it was a late hit. But Manny Malhotra said he "thought it a very clean hit. The timing was maybe a fraction off, but all in all you see those hits on daily basis."

The Bruins -- and especially Thornton -- disagree.

"I wasnt happy with the hit," Thornton said. "My next emotion was worry to know Nathan was okay. It was good to see him moving on the big screen as they took him off. You could tell by my facial expression if the camera was on me that I wasnt very happy with it. You never want to see a teammate in that situation.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Lucic heads to Edmonton with seven-year, $42M deal

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Lucic heads to Edmonton with seven-year, $42M deal

The Bruins had made a little noise about a Milan Lucic reunion last weekend at the draft.

Instead, Lucic, 28, will be reunited with former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who now runs the Edmonton Oilers. The ex-Bruins forward agreed to a seven-year, $42 million contract with Edmonton on the opening day of NHL free agency, Lucic's agent, Gerry Johansson confirmed to the Associated Press.

Lucic, traded to the Los Angeles Kings in a draft night deal last year by the B’s, had  20 goals and 35 assists in his lone season in L.A. 

Source: ‘Fairly certain’ Bruins will part ways with Connolly

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Source: ‘Fairly certain’ Bruins will part ways with Connolly

Things didn’t look good for right winger Brett Connolly returning to the Bruins after they opted not to tender him a qualifying offer a couple of days ago. Now it appears the former No. 6 overall pick will be headed toward unrestricted free agency. 

A league source told CSNNE.com on Friday morning that “it was fairly certain” Connolly wouldn’t be re-signing with Boston leading up to July 1 and that the right wing would be getting a fresh start someplace else next season. 

The B’s had maintained some level of public interest in keeping Connolly, 24, after relinquishing his RFA rights, but there hasn’t been much in the way of substantive communication between the two sides over the last few days.

Connolly scored nine goals and 25 points with a minus-1 in 71 games for the Black and Gold last season in a disappointing offensive season playing on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. 

He went long stretches without scoring goals or posting points last season and never played like the 6-foot-2, 193-pound power forward-type he was projected to be coming out of junior hockey. 

It was a step back from a decent season as a Tampa Bay Lightning third liner in 2014-15, and a clear bummer after they’d shipped a pair of second round picks to the Bolts in exchange for the former lottery pick.

With Connolly now headed for free agency with zero assets coming back to the Bruins in exchange for him, chalk this up as another total loss for the Bruins at a trade deadline where they’ve really damaged their long term organizational prospects over the past couple of years. 

 

Bruins sign David Backes after losing Eriksson to Vancouver

Bruins sign David Backes after losing Eriksson to Vancouver

The Bruins have made some signings to varying degrees of significance on the July 1 opening of NHL free agency

The Bruins signed rugged, productive center David Backes to a five-year contract worth $6 million a year that will take the 32-year-old up until he’s 38. The former St. Louis Blues captain is tough, intense and physical along with being a guy that can chip in 20 plus goals on offense, and he will bring some of that fire to the Black and Gold starting next season. But the 6-foot-3, 221-pound forward has also already played 700 plus games in the NHL, heavy miles logged given his physical style of play. It will be interesting to see what kind of player Backes is when he approaches the 36-38 year old range a few years down the road.

The Backes signing came soon after word came that the B's lost Loui Eriksson to the Vancouver Canucks to a deal believed to be worth $36 million over six years. 

"I am as excited as can be to join an Original Six team w/tons of history & a great chance to win," Backes told CSNNE.com. "The courtship period and vision for winning with this group was irresistible."

In announcing Torey Krug's contract extension on Thursday night. Bruins GM Don Sweeney said of he B's free agent pursuits:  “The flexibility piece is there. Now, we just need to make it happen, be it through trade or free agency, we’ll continue to improve. Players on this roster or whatever we have to do — there are certain players that I’ve mentioned before that are a big part of our group in winning and we’re very, very unlikely to move.

“But discussions will come down with different general managers — they’re going to want, they’re going to have the asks, and I do, too, so you have to try and make it work and you realize that good players are exchanged and it’s not a fun process, but in order to improve your team, you’re going to have to give something up.

In addition to Backes, who scored 21 goals and 45 points in 79 games last season, the Bruins also inked backup goaltender Anton Khudobin to a short-term deal and re-signed John-Michael Liles to a one-year, $2 million contract after arriving at the trade deadline last spring.