It was exciting on the opening day of free agency for Columbus when the Blue Jackets signed forward Nathan Horton to a seven-year contract. After their strong finish to the season, everybody couldn't wait to see the new team on ice as things are finally starting to look up.
But it's going to be a while longer before Horton actually plays. The right wing had surgery on his troublesome shoulder that was bothering him during the Stanley Cup Final, knocking Horton out of commission for the next 4-6 months.
"Nathan's surgery went very well and he is expected to make a full recovery after completing his rehabilitation program," GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. "Since Nathan joined the Blue Jackets, our medical team from OhioHealth and team training staff have worked closely with Dr. Warner and will be actively engaged with Nathan throughout the rehabilitation process."
This is not a surprise to the Blue Jackets or Horton. It was expected. The shoulder issue that began to bother him again early in the Stanley Cup Final has been a recurring issue for a long time. They decided it's best to get it fixed now so he can return at 100 percent and become the impact player the Blue Jackets are hoping for.
Still, it will mean that Horton won't make his Blue Jackets debut until November at the earliest, January at the latest. Anything worth having is worth waiting for, right? Something like that.
Last season playing for the Bruins, Horton had 13 goals and nine assists in 43 regular-season games, a bit off his normal pace of points in the mid-50s. He turned it on in the playoffs with seven goals and 12 assists in 22 games.