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Bruins’ Horton: “I’m not even worried about my head”

Jan 10, 2013, 12:27 PM EDT

Nathan Horton Getty Images

Nathan Horton has put his concussion issues behind him.

“I’m not even worried about my head. Or being in contact. Or getting in a fight,” the Bruins forward told’s Joe Haggerty. “I feel better than I have in a long, long time.”

When Horton says a long time, he means a long time.

The 27-year-old winger has been dealing with concussion issues ever since Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, when he was crushed by then-Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.

Horton missed the final four games of the series, but was able to recover in time to begin the 2011-12 season, posting 32 points in 46 games.

Then, more issues.

On Jan. 22, Horton was on the receiving end of a headshot from Philadelphia’s Tom Sestito which resulted in a second concussion in seven months — one that shut Horton down for good.

He missed Boston’s final 36 games of the regular season and the entire opening round of the playoffs.

But in July, things turned around — Horton was cleared for contact and was expected to be ready for training camp (which, given everybody’s bright-eyed “there won’t be a lockout!” optimism, was supposed to start in September.)

In November, Horton’s agent informed reporters that his client was “ready to go.”

Today, Horton confirmed the diagnosis.

“[I] had a lot of time to work out and get back to normal,” he explained. “All summer I had no issues.

“I’m just excited to get going. It’s nice to be around the guys.”

  1. davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Hopefully it’s true. Too many players fail to recognize the distinction between “healthy” and “healthy enough to play” and when it comes to concussion issues that can be a career ending mistake.

    I dislike Horton strongly but I don’t want to see anyone’s health or career compromised by brain injuries so it’s good that he’s been able to put together a run of several months off the ice with no issues – here’s hoping it continues when he gets back on the ice.

  2. elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    “I’m not even worried about my head,” said Horton while he was admiring his pass before he got hit late and knocked out cold. The point is, you should be worried about your head, or you might not be in the spot you are.

    • rogersjd16 - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Admiring a pass huh? His fault not Rome’s then? Yea you = Canucks fan.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        You clearly missed the point. I said the hit was late, but Horton should also be concerned with his own health and safety rather than skating up the middle of the ice not watching anything but the puck that came off his stick.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Can’t both players be at fault?

    • rogersjd16 - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Elvis if he was looking directly down the ice at Rome he wouldn’t have been able to avoid that hit. Rome took 2 full strides after he released puck. By that logic every pass is a no look pass in the NHL? Or at least safe ones? Come on.

      I completely agree with you he should be concerned with his health and assuredly his head, but to claim he wasn’t or isn’t doing that because he was watching a pass is just not right.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        Again, missed the point. If he was more aware of his surroundings while skating through a high traffic area of the ice, he would have at least been able to prepare for Rome coming at him late. And I didn’t say it was a no look pass, that implies he was looking at Rome but not looking where he was passing it. The opposite is true.

        Having more awareness and concern for your own health and safety in a dangerous area of a high speed, full contact game tends to be the smart thing to do, rather than have no concern at all that something – either illegal or accidental – could happen.

    • nhloon - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      elvis – odds are you’ve never been green-lighted in open ice. Anyone who gives a shot should be able to take em. Horton, has given plenty and took a cheap one well after the pass was gone. You are a trolling p*ssy, don’t worry B’s will be lighting it up all “season.” East finals prediction, you heard it hear first.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        I have been on the receiving end of big hits in the middle of the ice, some illegal, some not, but I did my best to prepare for them and avoid injury to myself. Your next sentences confuse me though, where you seem to suggest that since Horton has given plenty, but should be able to take one despite being concussed on Rome’s late hit.

        No where have I said Rome’s hit was fine, or tried to troll. In fact, I could tell real time that Rome’s hit was late. I’m not even saying Horton has to bear responsibility for being concussed after getting hit late. All I’m saying is Horton has to have more concern for situations that could lead to injury if he hopes to prevent another concussion that might end his career and cause health issues for life.

        You can’t 100% prevent concussions in a game like hockey, but your stupid if you don’t take obvious precautions and show concern for situations that are more dangerous than others.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      How big of a clown are you? The hit occurred at the blue line and he passed the puck as he skated over the red line. It’s completely unreasonable to expect a blindside hit that late.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM

        Sure, it’s completely unreasonable to expect a blindside hit that late. But, it wasn’t a blindside hit. It also wasn’t a hit to the head. It was late, that’s it.

        I’m not defending that it was late, I even said earlier I knew it was late as it happened. But, what I am saying with regards to Horton, if you’re moving through a high traffic area, it’s probably wise to be looking ahead of you, rather than skating in a line towards the net but having your head turned to the left. That’s a situation he should have some awareness in, which he obviously didn’t do, perhaps because “he wasn’t worried about his head.”

        Get it? Try reading what I’ve said instead of reacting in a away that prompts the words ‘clown’ (yours) or ‘trolling p*ssy’ (another poster).

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:47 PM

        I called you a clown when I should have called you a moron apparently. Not only was the hit extremely late, it came from his blindside, the point of contact was the head and Rome jumped to make contact with Horton’s head.

        One shouldn’t be worried about their head when they’re not near the puck and skating through the middle of the neutral zone.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Seriously, some people have the biggest blinders on and only believe what they want to or are told to by the media. Moron indeed, or perhaps sheep in this case.

        Rome doesn’t come from the side, he comes from his own blue line where Horton was coming from center ice – north/south. Listen to the commentator near the end as well.

        And this from Mike Murphy’s (who handed down the suspension) own comment on the hit:

        In his comments to the media, Murphy addressed the hit itself, explained why it doesn’t fall under the parameters of the recently instituted Rule 48, which governs blind-side hits to the head…
        “This has nothing to do with Rule 48. This is just an interference penalty, an interference hit. If it was immediate after he released the puck, it would be a legal hit. We have them all the time. … North/south play. And we viewed it as that, too.”

        If you don’t get it from that, then I can’t help you, no need to reply unless you have proof from a better source that directly contradicts what I’ve just explained.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        My eyes

  3. ironmike778 - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Still one of the dirtiest, most scumbag cheap shots I’ve ever seen. Good to have you back!!

    • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      You must have missed McSorely’s two hander to Brashear or any of the other cheap shots that have been much, much worse.

  4. ibieiniid - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:04 PM


    • govtminion - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      The things that come out of your mouth…

      • ibieiniid - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        the correct response was “PENIS.” then maybe “PENIS!” then maybe “PENIS!!”

        and so on until somebody gets embarassed by how loud they’re yelling penis in public. works better in real life.

  5. hy3rid28 - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    i dont wish harm on anybody… unless your name is nathan horton. just retire douche

    • rogersjd16 - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Just retire? So being on pace for 70+ points is worth retiring? Wonder what league you watch…

  6. ironmike778 - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    The Rome hit was as dirty and dangerous as anything you’ll see. I’d put Bertuzzi’s cheap shot ahead of it but not many more. And yes, the Rome steamroll was actually more dangerous than what McSorley did.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      The difference is that the assaults perpetrated by Bertuzzi, McSorely and scores of others (Brad May has a few on his record, who’s that guy who played with the Flyers.. Jesse Boulerice has a few..) were entirely outside of the context of a hockey game.

      The Rome hit on Horton was, by the words of the acting disciplinarian for the league at the time, illegal due only to its timing.

      If Horton had his head up he could have easily minimized the impact if not avoided the hit entirely – which other than the timing was delivered in a fashion that was entirely legal in the 2010-11 season.

      It is blaming the victim to some extent to point that out, however we are talking about a hockey play and players do have some responsibility for their own wellbeing within the context of the game.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        A late hit that was otherwise legal, and it’s worse than what McSorely did by two-handing Brashear to the head from behind in an attempt to injure.

        You can’t teach stupid, db, and I can only plus you once to make up for the negs you’re getting for a logical argument.

  7. bcjim - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    He followed that up with “Which part is my head again?”

    • ibieiniid - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      LMAO. funniest comment i’ve seen today. certainly beats my “penis” comment earlier in this post. guess nobody wanted to play the penis game on a post about Horton =(

  8. habsman - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    The Rome hit was late, but it wasn’t late by much. The 4 game suspension by Greg’s dad Colie was one of many questionable decisions that went Boston’s way all season long.

    As for Horton, he got exactly what he deserved. He is a cheap shot sucker-puncher, like most of the Bruins.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      Agreed about Horton’s propensity for delivering cheap shots, but the suspension was actually delivered by Mike Murphy.

      As for the conspiracy angle, I think there are enough other factors in play to point to a suspension of unprecedented length.. Horton was not just concussed but stretchered off the ice and hospitalized, in front of millions in one of the most watched games of the year. He was a first line player and relative star on an original six franchise that plays most of its games in prime time (ie. Eastern). The hit was delivered by the 7th defenseman on a team that seems to hold relatively little sway with the league and plays most of its games after the bulk of the hockey media is in bed.

      It was a truly ugly head injury sustained just as the hockey world was gaining the will to finally do something about head shots (remember Rule 48 was put in place after the season).

      There were a handful of other factors pointing to a huge suspension without having to get into the conspiracy theory BS.

      • habsman - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM


        ‘……was not just concussed but stretchered off the ice and hospitalized, in front of millions in one of the most watched games of the year. He was a first line player and relative star on an original six franchise…”

        Interesting comment. Can you think of anyone else this could apply to?

        And please, do you really think Murphy was the one who made that call? I’ve read plenty of your posts, I know you’re not that naive. Murphy was Campbell’s incompentent flunky. He even indicated at the time that he consulted Brian Burke of all people. It was Campbells’ call all the way.

    • pete387 - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:06 AM

      Yeah, like there aren’t any cheap shot artists on the Habs, namely Subban and Emelin. At least Horton doesn’t hide behind the refs when challenged.

  9. supercoop8 - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    It was a late hit and if Burrows wasn’t exonerated for chewing on Bergeron’s digits the suspension most likely would have been shorter. To call it one of the dirtiest ever is a gross overstatement; not even in the same ballpark as Bertuzzi, McSorley, Hunter, or even Cooke’s hit on Savard.

    Glad to see him back, pathetic though that people are trolling over a guy returning from a head injury.

  10. ironmike778 - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    The logic from some of you is hilarious. Yeah the Rome hit was a good hit, just “a touch late”. Lol. Ok, whatever. It was head hunting at it’s finest. Oh, and nice to have the Frenchie wuss Habs fans back. Celebrating your 20 year drought this year, right?? LMAO.

    • habsman - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM


      I am not French, not that it matters. Yes, you’re right, it’s been 20 years since our last Cup.

      You on the other hand have every right to “trash talk.” After all, you have won (1) cup in the last 40 years. Good for you! I’d call you a mononic Bruin fan, but that would be redundant. Enjoy the shortened season with the rest of your racist fan base.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        idk about you guys but I enjoy seeing Bostonians generalized as racists. i’m not even being sarcastic…

      • turk16 - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Montreal fires the coach becasue he does not speak French. but the Bruins fans are the racists?

      • habsman - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM


        Check the W-L record and you’ll see why Cunnyworth was fired.

        And Joel Ward says Hi.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      The only one saying “a touch late” is you, everyone else here has accepted it was late and realize it earned Rome a 4 game suspension. We’re not debating that, but you ignoring that it was otherwise a hit within the rules at that time, and calling it more dangerous than someone intentionally swinging a stick at your head from behind is insane.

      Considering you condemn one situation that was an illegal act by a Canuck on a Boston player, and yet play down another situation that was an illegal act by a Boston player on a Canuck player, I can only assume you either love the Bruins or hate the Canucks (your petty comment at the end suggests both, no matter what habsman is like). Nothing else makes sense to why you’d see it that way.

  11. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Thank god! He is a huge part of the Bruins team. Big reason why they won the cup and a big reason why they lost last year. Welcome back 2011 Stanley cup hero. You’ll forever be my hero for slamming home that slap shot past price in Game 7 OT against the Habs! Especially since half my family and a lot of people around me are habs fans haha. That was the moment my GF realized I’m a crazed hockey fan. WOOOO! I was deployed for the rest of the playoffs and it really gave me something to look forward too every week :)

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