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Horton signs 6-year deal with Panthers @NHLdotcom

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -The Florida Panthers signed right wing Nathan Horton to a six-year, $24 million deal Thursday.

Horton, a first-round pick by Florida in 2003, played in all 82 games for the Panthers this past season. The 22-year-old had a career-high 31 goals and 31 assists.

"Nathan compiled a career-best season last year, proving to be one of our club's top offensive threats," Florida coach and general manager Jacques Martin said in a statement. "He is a very skilled and talented player who is a key part of our nucleus of offensive talent."

The new deal will play Horton $3 million next season, and his salary steadily rises to $5.5 million in the final year.

In his three seasons with the Panthers, Horton has played in 208 games with 73 goals and 58 assists.

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