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Nathan Horton signs with Blue Jackets for seven seasons

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Nathan Horton is the top-line winger the Jackets needed. (USATSI)
Nathan Horton is the top-line winger the Jackets needed. (USATSI)

More NHL offseason: Rumors | Top 50 Free Agents | Buyout Tracker | Trades | Transactions

The Columbus Blue Jackets had targeted Nathan Horton in free agency and they got him.

The Jackets announced on Friday that they have agreed to a seven-year deal with the free-agent winger, the longest deal they could sign him to. According to Bob McKenzie, the contract is worth $37.1 million, or $5.3 million annually.

"This is the place I wanted to be," Horton said when he was introduced. "With Mr. Davidson and Jarmo, [The team] is in the hands of the right people and its headed in the right direction."

This is a huge splash for the Jackets -- and a huge gamble. Horton can be the type of scoring winger the Jackets really need. Offense was a major problem for them last season and he gives them a true top-line talent, even if he is a little inconsistent.

However it's a gamble for multiple reasons. First off, any time you give a player a seven-year contract it's risky. But then take into account that Horton will shortly undergo shoulder surgery and there must be concerns going forward.

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