Horton wants a big contract. Will Boston have to say no?


Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie

Corey Crawford

(50) looks around a screen set by Boston Bruins right wing

Nathan Horton

(18) during the first period in game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Horton has played very well for the Boston Bruins in his tenure here. He’s been a solid forward who has made big plays for the B’s these last few seasons. He’s also been injury-prone regrettably. On July 5th, Horton becomes an unrestricted free agent and may very well test the waters to see if he get a team to pay him what he believes he is worth . The 28-year-old forward is seeking roughly $6 million per season for a minimum five year contract. That information comes from CSNNE. Can he get that kind of money? (Is he worth that kind of money?)

It’s clear that Horton would like to stay in Boston. “I’ve always said, like I said, I love the guys,” Horton said. “The team is great, and it’s a fun place to play. Other than that, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I couldn’t tell you throughout the year that was going to happen, I don’t know and we’ll see what happens.” So, can the B’s find a way to make this work and keep Horton for next season?

The answer for the Boston Bruins might very well be no. Now, the Boston Bruins could look around and see what they can do to make some sort of deal happen, but I would find it doubtful that the Bruins could go for a deal of that magnitude. As much as the organization loves Horton and what he brings to the table, Boston’s only has under six million in cap space available. The Bruins organization also has deeper priorities.  At the moment, both Bruins goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin will be needing a contract in the next few days as well. After Tuukka’s run this year exceeded most people’s expectations, the Bruins know they’ll have to pay him handily to retain his services.

It comes down who the Bruins will want to have more. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep both this year. The Bruins could exercise one of their compliance buyouts to clear the cap space, or maybe even a trade. That would leave the question of who would go? Certainly not Krejci or Lucic. Bergeron and Marchand are safe. Chris Kelly and the Merlot Men put up a great performance pulling them out of the woods. The two biggest names on the list would be Rich Peverley or (can’t believe I’m saying this) Tyler Seguin.

Peter Chiarelli has made a lot of magic happen in his seven year tenure, and he’s already had to make a few hard choices on who won’t be coming back next year. (Andrew Ference being the biggest one.) He might have something up his sleeve, but it could cause a lot of Bruins fans some heartache if he can’t reconcile any other option than Rask or Horton.