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Playoff-bound Jackets lose Horton (abdominal surgery) for six weeks

Apr 11, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

Columbus Blue Jackets v Nashville Predators Getty Images

The positive vibes surrounding Columbus’ second-ever playoff appearance took a hit on Friday, as GM Jarmo Kekalainen announced forward Nathan Horton underwent abdominal surgery and would miss the next six weeks of action.

Horton, 28, scored five goals and 19 points in 36 games for the Jackets this season, his first in Columbus. He was the club’s prized free agent acquisition last summer — inking a mega seven-year, $37.1 million deal — but missed the first 40 games of the season recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

The former Bruin and Panther debuted for the Jackets in January and made an immediate impact, playing some quality hockey on the club’s top line alongside youngsters Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner. Ten days ago, Horton was sidelined with the abdominal injury but did try to come back, playing just over five minutes in a win against Phoenix before re-aggravating the ailment.

News of losing Horton just prior to the playoffs is a tough blow for Columbus. He was one of the more vested postseason veterans on the team — appearing in 43 career playoff contests — and further thins out the Jackets up front, as the club was already without the services of R.J. Umberger and Nick Foligno.

  1. bildomatic - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Color me shocked… Same song and dance, different city…

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      It’s not like he’s missing games with a pulled hammy, he gets legitimate injuries.

  2. the8man - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Agh! As a Bruins fan I still cheer for him. It would have been bittersweet the see him lineup against the Bs in a first round matchup. And a sad note to what should be a joyous time for Columbus fans. What a bummer.

  3. hockey412 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Crazy to think, as good as they’ve played, that their highest paid offensive guys are Horton (who has played what, 30 games) and Umberger, who’s not had the best year by any stretch of the imagination.

    • bildomatic - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Should bode well for the future

  4. govtminion - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    He was great in Boston, as a B’s fan I do miss him playing there, but… this is why they wouldn’t drop that huge payday on him. As talented as he is- and he really is- it’s hard to give a long term deal to someone who misses as many games a year as he does. He got in, what, 36 this season? Out of 82?

    I wish him well in Columbus and best of luck to them in the playoffs, but things like this make me pretty glad the Bruins went a different direction.

  5. pats2001 - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    that’s a tough break for Horton and the blue jackets. despite the small percentage of morons that exist in every fan base, Horton will forever be loved in boston. he’s a good guy and always played hard and most importantly produced when it counted. here’s hoping for him and the blue jackets he can fully heal during the summer and come back at 100%

  6. amityvillefun - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Horton is getting to be as injury prone as Havlat.

    I’m truly thankful for the time he spent with the Bruins, and the clutch goals he scored, but it seems like he can’t seem to stay out of the doctor’s office.

    I’m beginning to think Boston got his best years and he really won’t be the same with all the injuries.

    Ow! My head. Ow! My shoulder. Ow! My abs. It’s always something with this guy…

    Hopefully he can recover and actually play a full season of hockey again.

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