It didn’t come as much of a surprise when the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Nathan Horton, one of the top free agents on the market. An up and coming team and a player looking for quieter market after years in Boston, the match made sense on multiple levels.
But the honeymoon didn’t last long, as far as some Blue Jackets fans are concerned, as Horton will miss four to six months after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, which was an issue for him during the postseason. This isn’t a surprise, as Horton was waiting on a new contract before going under the knife.
Despite the fact that he might not be ready to go until December, or potentially even January, this is a signing that will benefit the Blue Jackets in multiple ways. Even with the surgery, and with his history of concussions, this is still a big name agreeing to a deal with a smaller market like Columbus, who is less than a year removed from being a laughingstock. He adds credibility as a Stanley Cup champion.
He’ll improve the offense for the Blue Jackets. This was a team that succeeded last year because their blue line was solid and their goaltending was outstanding. That was what helped them remain in the postseason race as long as they did. He comes in having posted at least 20 goals in a season five times, and 30 goals once.
He’s not a big man that plays overly physical, but he brings the skill set you want from a power forward. He’ll play down around in the corners and is tough to move in front of the net. He’s exactly the type of player that the Blue Jackets needed, even if the price tag was pretty high.
Bottom line is the fact that as risky a signing as Nathan Horton was for the Columbus Blue Jackets, it’s one that should pay off for them. When his first season is over, it’s hard to imagine him not making a positive impact for them, even if it will be a short campaign for the veteran forward.