Nathan Horton Trying For A Comeback


For Boston Bruins fans, the name Nathan Horton means ‘clutch’. Over the last ten years, he was one of the best players the B’s had for making the great play at the right time. Even those who put Patrice Bergeron ahead of him place Horton pretty high in their pantheon of amazing Bruins players. He was one of the pivotal players for the Black and Gold that helped them earn the 2011 Stanley Cup.

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Horton was one of those all-inclusive players for the Black and Gold. Even injured, he did his best to bring the ‘home ice’ to Vancouver.

Horton left the organization after the 2012-13 season, landing with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He wanted to play in a smaller market with less of the public glare around him. Since then, he has battled through injuries the last three seasons(missing the first half of the 2013-14 season due to surgery), and hasn’t played a NHL game since April 9, 2014.

Horton was diagnosed last year with degeneration of the entire lumbar region of his spine. This made walking a grueling process, and playing hockey a total impossibility.

“Nathan is a frustrated kid right now,” Horton’s agent, Paul Krepelka, told the Columbus Dispatch. “This is normally a really easy going guy, a happy guy, but he’s just so frustrated by all of this. He signed with Columbus to make an impact, to play a big role on a team that’s on the rise. He was so excited about doing it. The fact that he hasn’t been able to make any meaningful contributions is just extremely frustrating to him.”

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  • Horton recently chose to forego surgery that would alleviate a lot of his pain. He made that decision based on the doctor’s assessment that it would be physically impossible to play in the NHL if he had the surgery. So it looks like Horton is trying to make a comeback.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up his contract in a deal that sent David Clarkson to Columbus. He still has five seasons left on his $37.1 million dollar contract. The Clarkson trade certainly raised a lot of eyebrows when it happened. The Leafs got rid of an under producing player with a bad contract and picked up an incredible amount of cap space by signing a player who was on LTIR.

    It also generated a fair amount of goodwill for the Leafs organization.

    Horton is still trying to get himself ready for the Leafs training camp in September. He’s only thirty years old, and he’s trying to get back on the ice to play for Toronto. While his chances of a return are slim, that’s not deterring him from making one more push in the NHL.

    “I know I’m still young,” said Horton to ESPN. “Life gives you curveballs and I’m just trying to be positive and that’s pretty much all I can do.”

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