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Nathan Horton tells Bruins he is going to free agency

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Nathan Horton has informed the Boston Bruins he is testing the free agent market. (USATSI)
Nathan Horton has informed the Boston Bruins he is testing the free-agent market. (USATSI)

More NHL offseason: Rumors | Top 50 Free Agents | Top 50 Prospects | Mock Draft

The Boston Bruins seem to be at the center of everything that's happening (or rumored to possibly happen) on Saturday.

The latest piece of information to come out of Boston: Nathan Horton has informed the team he's heading to free agency.

"Nathan has told Boston he wants to explore free agency," his agent, Paul Krepelka told TSN's Bob McKenzie on Saturday. "It's not a financial issue, just a decision to move on."

McKenzie also says the Bruins are now shopping Horton's free-agent rights to other teams.

It may not be a financial issue for Horton, but it was going to be nearly impossible for the Bruins to find a way to fit a new contract for him under the cap. The Bruins are already right up against it and still have to work out a new deal for restricted free-agent goalie Tuukka Rask and will be getting ready to sign Patrice Bergeron to a new deal before next summer. Rumors also surfaced on Saturday that forward Tyler Seguin could be in play in trade talks.

Horton, 28, spent the past three seasons with the Bruins after being acquired in a trade, along with Gregory Campbell, from the Florida Panthers for Dennis Wideman, a first-round pick, and a third-round pick back in 2010.

In 43 games with the Bruins this past season he scored 13 goals to go with nine assists and can usually be penciled in for 20-25 goals and at least 50 points over an 82-game season. His production, combined with his size, is sure to make him one of the most attractive options in what is a pretty thin crop of free agents at the top.

Earlier this week Joe Haggerty of CSNNE reported that if Horton hits the open market he could be seeking a five- or six-year contract worth between $5.5 and $6 million per year.

Given how weak this group of free agents is (the top forwards are the recently bought-out Vincent Lecavalier, Horton, David Clarkson, and probably Jarome Iginla) he could probably very easily get that.

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