General manager Peter Chiarelli explained that the goal for Horton to return to this year’s playoffs was unrealistic and not in his best interest. He said that Horton has “good days followed by bad” in his recovery.
Interestingly, Chiarelli feels confident that Horton will be back next season and backed that up by saying that, until two weeks ago, he thought he might be back this season. He reportedly was putting a lot of pressure on himself to meet that goal.
Chiarelli said that the concussion Horton had in the Stanley Cup finals is unrelated to this one. However, I personally have trouble believing that, knowing what I do about brain trauma (which isn’t much, I admit, but is something). It surely can’t be good to introduce more trauma to a brain that has already suffered some before.
For what it’s worth, Marc Savard, who has been shut down for entire seasons due to his concussion, weighed in on this decision on Twitter.
“He’s too young.” Absolutely heartbreaking.
If you want to rile up your emotions a little more, flash back to that late January game where Horton went down from a hit by the Philadelphia Flyers‘ Tom Sestito. This video may help jog your memory. At that time, Sestito didn’t even get a two-minute minor. Actually, Horton was the only one punished–for when he got up after the hit and shoved Sestito as if to show he did not appreciate that. He earned himself two minutes in the box. But nothing more came for Sestito, not even when Horton was officially diagnosed with a concussion. Isn’t that what Brendan Shanahan is trying to stop in this sport: bad hits that lead to head injuries? Please, Mr. Shanahan, enlighten us as to why that hit was okay even though it resulted in a season-ending injury.
Pardon my digression.