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Report: Horton visits Columbus Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 07.03.2013 / 6:57 PM / News

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Report: Horton visits Columbus Blue Jackets
Nathan Horton visited with the Blue Jackets and toured Nationwide Arena on Wednesday, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Forward Nathan Horton, likely to be one of the most coveted players when NHL free agency opens, on Wednesday visited with the Columbus Blue Jackets and toured Nationwide Arena, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Nathan Horton
Nathan Horton - 2013 PLAYOFFS
Right Wing - BOS
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 12 | PTS: 19
SOG: 38 | +/-: 20
Horton, 28, had seven goals, 19 points and was a League-best plus-20 for the Boston Bruins in their run to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. His agent, Paul Krepelka, informed the Bruins this past weekend that Horton "is going to explore his options as an unrestricted free agent."

Krepelka confirmed to the Dispatch that Horton was in Columbus on Wednesday.

The six-year, $24 million contract Horton signed as a member of the Florida Panthers expired after the 2012-13 season.

He had 56 goals and 107 points in 169 games with Boston after being acquired from Florida in June 2010, and 15 goals and 36 points in 43 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Horton was a member of the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup championship team.

Horton will need surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder that popped out in the first game of the Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. He left that game and did not return, but was able to play in the last five games while wearing a brace.

Horton was in Columbus during a two-day window when players can visit and negotiate with teams, though a contract can't be signed until Friday.

In 591 NHL games with Boston and Florida, Horton has 198 goals, 204 assists and a plus-62 rating. Florida chose him with the third pick in the 2003 NHL Draft.

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When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions