Nathan Horton has been given the green light for contact. # 18 will be a full participant when training camp starts up in August. Bruins’ president Cam Neely made the announcement on Monday. Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli added it into the the news conference regarding the extension of Coach Claude Julien’s contract. (But, that is another story). “By all accounts from our medical staff (Horton), will be ready to play when it comes time to play.”
I always saw Nathan Horton as the ‘Rocky’ of the Boston Bruins. His two seasons with the B’s have found him battling concussion symptoms. In his first year with the Bruins (’10-’11) he put up twenty-six goals and twenty-seven assists. Then the playoffs came. In the first three games, he racked up eight goals and nine assists with a plus/minus of plus eleven. He had scored the game and series winning goals against the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then came the hit from the Canucks’ Aaron Rome the caused Horton to fall to the ice head first. That hit sent Horton to the hospital, and got Rome suspended for the remainder of the playoffs. Horton would be out for the playoffs.
Nathan Horton still had an impact to make that season. The first six games had all been won by the home team. Horton had taken the step of bringing a bottle of water with him to Vancouver. That bottle of water was from melted ice from the surface of the TD Garden. Before Game seven, #18 sprayed it on the ice telling reporters that now Vancouver ice was home ice as well. Whatever you personally think of game rituals and superstitions, it did wonders for the B’s. Game seven was a four-zero rout that declared the Bruins were the Stanley Cup Champions.
In the 2011-2012 season, Horton played only forty-six games. He had earned seventeen goals and fifteen assists. He was even heading back to his game winning ways with the goal against the New Jersey Devils. On January 22, 2012, #18 was hit by Tom Sestito in the game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The concussion was severe enough for him to miss the remainder of the season, and the playoffs. Horton’s absence was consider one of the major factors for the Bruins’ early departure from the playoffs in 2012. Horton’s return will be a tremendous boost to the Bruins. His scoring and playing ability for sure , but for the intangibles of spirit and symbolism he brings a very relieved Bruins Nation.