Horton (back) failed his physical for the Leafs on Thursday, as expected, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports.
Horton's deal -- $5.3 million annually through 2019-20 -- can now be designated for long-term injured reserve, which will provide the Leafs with much-needed cap relief. This figures to be an annual process for the 32-year-old until his contract runs out, at which point he will officially retire.
Horton (back) remains on the Leafs' payroll, but his $5.3 million salary (through 2019-2020) does not count against the team's salary cap.
Rich teams can afford to absorb big salaries like Horton's, as he remains trapped on the league's long-term injured reserve list. Horton is struggling with a degenerative spine issue that has had him out of action since 2014. He will likely never return to the game as a player.
Horton (back) has been placed on injured reserve by the Maple Leafs, according to the NHL Media site.
Horton failed his physical and wasn't a member of the team's training camp roster, so his placement on injured reserve isn't overly surprising. The winger tallied 19 points (five goals, four assists) as a member of Columbus in 2013, but hasn't played in the NHL since then and is unlikely to play with the Leafs when he's ready to return.