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Horton says Bruins waited ‘until the last minute’ to try to bring him back

Oct 12, 2013, 11:45 PM EDT

leapinghortongetty Getty Images

Nathan Horton‘s original explanation for leaving the Boston Bruins for the Columbus Blue Jackets is his preference for a quieter, more private lifestyle. It appears that either was a PR-friendly reason, or just a part of the story.

After hearing that a Bruins-produced documentary captured B’s GM Peter Chiarelli’s angry reaction to Horton’s departure for Columbus, the 28-year-old winger told that Boston dragged its feet regarding a new deal.

“All year, nothing happened. I waited for a long time,” Horton said. “When you wait until the last minute, what am I … I’m not going to wait around. I’m happy with the way things turned out. It just came down to, at the end, for my family, I wanted a place where my kids could be outside.”

Horton isn’t done rehabbing shoulder surgery, but he’s definitely on board with Columbus, calling the Blue Jackets an up-and-coming team.

He admits that his time with Boston was still special, though.

“Obviously I enjoyed my time in Boston. I still talk to [Milan Lucic] and most of the guys on the team,” said Horton. “When you win a Stanley Cup with everyone, you never forget it. It’s a big part of your life.”

Apparently he didn’t feel that the Bruins organization believed he was a big enough part of their team, though. With the obvious exception of Tuukka Rask, Chiarelli has been proactive regarding signing core guys to extensions with plenty of time before their current deals expire, so maybe Horton has a point.

Whether Boston really wanted him back or not, he’s now in Columbus, and seems glad to be there.

  1. itsallniceonice - Oct 13, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    Guy is a beast in the playoffs. But if he thinks teams will sign him the big bucks while he sleepwalks through the regular season then he doesn’t belong on a contender.

  2. freneticgarfieldfan - Oct 13, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    I think the wait had much more to do with the expected price tag/cap situation than not wanting him back.

    • paperlions - Oct 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      If that is true, then it is up to the organization to communicate that with him so that everyone understands the situation. If the team wasn’t sure they could afford to sign him and didn’t actively communicate or negotiate with the player and he “suddenly” signs with someone else because you’ve been ignoring him…then the GM has no one to blame but himself (assuming the GM did have a legitimately angry reaction). Horton doesn’t sound bitter at all, he just seemed to explain that the angry reaction is odd because Boston didn’t communicate that they wanted him back.

  3. blackhawks2010 - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    You snooze, you lose Beantown.

    • pepper2011 - Oct 13, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      what happened to the Hawks after they won the cup (the first time)?

      They obviously had some cap decisions to make. They were working on it.

      They shipped almost 10m out in the Seguin deal. From what I can tell; they wanted to move Seguin at the draft, but couldn’t find the right deal. good for them for not taking a bad deal just so they could sign Horton.

      I like Horton as a player, but he hadn’t been the same player since the Rome and Sesito hits. He isn’t as physical, but he still got his bad (good) temper. Maybe this time off will finally give him time to fully heal, but I saw a really talented and physical trying to not get lit up again. I don’t blame him one bit.

      Also, much like choices the Hawks made with Versteeg, Campbell, Ladd and Byfuglien; the Bruins made their choices, and in my opinion they made the right ones. As teams win; the players tend to have their pay scale climb. Just like the Hawks decided that Saad and Shaw gave them the luxury of being able to move Bolland and Stalberg.

      They are a better team this year with Eriksson and Iginla then they were with Seguin and Horton.

      Seguin will put up huge numbers in Dallas, but he will be a -15 on the year, and he certainly won’t be playing in the playoffs anytime soon.

      Reily Smith is a good player.

    • pxland - Oct 13, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Sometimes when you snooze you win. Horton has more value in Columbus than Boston gave him. The Bruins will do just fine without him.

  4. dboldave - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Honestly, he did very little during the regular season, started off a beast in the playoffs and then faded during the Hawks series. I don’t hold it against the B’s that they didn’t try to sign him early in the season. I also doubt they could match the offer that the Jackets put out there. I think him moving on was best for everyone in the long run.

  5. fitzy187 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Who cares hes gone end of story

  6. matt14gg - Oct 13, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    If the back story is true Horton did not want to be on the same team as Seguin anymore. When the b’s didn’t trade Seguin at the draft Horton decided to move on, not knowing Seguin would end up being traded anyway. Word is a lot of guys were sick of Seguin, but with Horton it was personal.

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