Jackets sign former Bruin Nathan Horton
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have made a major move to shore up their lagging offense by signing free-agent right wing Nathan Horton away from the Boston Bruins.
The 28-year-old forward, who visited Columbus earlier this week, signed a seven-year deal.
A source told ESPN The Magazine's Craig Custance that Horton's deal has an average annual value of $37.1 million, with $30 million paid in the first five years of the deal.
"Nathan Horton was the player we identified as a perfect fit for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we are very happy to welcome Nathan and his family to our organization," said general manager Jarmo Kekalainen in a release. "He is an elite power forward who brings size, skill and a great desire to compete to our lineup. He is also a person of great character and someone who will fit in very well with our team."
Horton, who still needs offseason shoulder surgery which will delay the start of his season, provides the Blue Jackets with punch it lacked a year ago when it just missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker despite finishing 25th in the NHL in goals. He's averaged 23 goals over the last eight seasons.
The Blue Jackets' are built around Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who recently signed a two-year contract. The club badly needed a scoring threat to go with Marian Gaborik.