Nathan Horton won’t be returning to Bruins
On Monday the Boston Bruins were eliminated in the Stanley Cup Final. On Saturday they found out one of their key players will not be returning next season.
Nathan Horton, who finished second in playoff scoring, told team management that he has opted not to re-sign with Boston, instead deciding to test free-agency.
The news was first reported by TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, after Horton’s agent, Paul Krepelka, told him, “Nathan has told the Bruins he wants to explore free agency. It’s not a financial issue, just a decision to move on.
Earlier this week, when Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was asked if he would like to re-sign Horton, he said, “I hope so.” Complicating the matter was the drop in salary cap from $70.2 million to $64.3 million and that Boston also needs to sign star goaltender Tuukka Rask. Combining those issues with the suspected raise Horton will demand, the Bruins would have needed to be creative to fit him under the cap.
Instead, the 28-year-old has decided to move on from a city where he will be remembered for scoring clutch goals during the Bruins 2011 Championship season.
Horton was originally drafted 3rd overall in 2003 by the Florida Panthers. He was traded to Boston in the summer of 2010 along with Gregory Campbell for Dennis Wideman and draft picks. In 591 games, the power forward has totaled 402 points.
The Bruins now need to regroup after losing their top two right wings to free agency this summer, as they also announced this week they would not re-sign Jaromir Jagr.
Horton is scheduled for shoulder surgery after separating it during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.