Over the phone, Nathan Horton
sounds like a man who is not quite sure if he has been daydreaming.
"It’s definitely an unbelievable feeling," said Horton of his preparations to move to Boston and join the Bruins. "My nerves and everything havn’t stopped and I couldn’t be more excited.
|Horton. (AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye) |
"Now and it’s time to get going, because it’s a dream come true."
To be sure, and with good reason, Horton is deferential to his old team, the Florida Panthers, but his enthusiasm for joining the Black & Gold just can't be hidden -- not for very long, anyway.
"I mean I’ve been there for seven years, it’s all I’ve ever known," said Horton. "It’s been great for me and great for my career but I think it’s definitely time to move on [to Boston].
"I think it’s just so many emotions and it’s such an unbelievable feeling."
The winger hasn't even played a game in Black & Gold yet, but Horton has already studied up on his new squad.
"Well I definitely looked at the roster there are just so many great players...already," he said. "You know, I could just sit here and name everyone on the team: Lucic, Savard, Bergeron, Chara.
"I think it’s just a great opportunity for me to play with so many great players and be part of something great."
Growing up, Horton watched plenty of Bruins games, so the history behind the club isn't any mystery.
"I think it’s just amazing to be a part of it and be part of the Bruins," said Horton. "[Growing up] you watch it all...on TV.
"I’ve been to a few Bruins games when I was younger, too.
"There is so much history in the Bruins and the bitter rivalries and the 'Original Six' I think it’s going to be different and I’m excited for a change."
A power forward himself, Horton will come to know one of the chief architects of that position pretty well. Nathan was asked what he thought it would be like what like to work for Bruins President and Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely.
"It’s pretty sweet," he said. "Obviously, he’s a great player.
"It’s certainly nice of him and [B's General Manager] Mr. [Peter] Chiarelli to show confidence in me and bring me in.
"I’m going to try my hardest to make everyone happy...[and] most of all I want to come in good shape and hopefully play my best and hopefully help my teammates to win."
1st round draft pick of Florida (3rd overall) in 2003
2 seasons with the Oshawa Generals (OHL)
6 NHL seasons, all with the Panthers (NHL).
16 jersey number with Florida
18 jersey with Boston
25 years old
57 points in 2009-10, good for 2nd on the Panthers
142 NHL goals
153 NHL assists
295 NHL points
400th NHL game vs. Montreal on 1/5/10." Horton by the Numbers
Horton talked about his first exhibition games with the B's.
"You know you worry about a lot of things I guess," said Horton, who acknowleged the excitement surrounding the clubs opening trip to Europe. "It’s different and I’ve never [changed teams in the NHL] before but, I think once [the game] starts you kind of go back to the fact that you played hockey pretty much your whole life and you just got to do the things you’re good at and play your game and stick to that.
"I think if you try to do so much you’re not going to perform to the best and that’s not what I want to do."
Horton was asked about the climate change from Florida to Boston. It was assumed that the forward might conceed that the switch from sunny to snow might be regarded as one drawback of the move from Sunrise to Boston.
"It’s definitely worth it," said Horton. "I mean, I grew up in Canada and I’m used to the cold but obviously I haven’t seen it for seven years, so it’s going to be a little different.
"The move with my family...is going to be a change," he added. "It’s not going to be easy it’s a stressful summer already, but once they get there and once they meet the hockey players and be around the guys and the team, you know get things started it’s going to be a lot of fun."