Nathan Horton Expects to Make Columbus Blue Jackets Debut Next Month

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

To say the Columbus Blue Jackets are tired of seeing players get hurt is an extreme understatement. Marian Gaborik, Sergei Bobrovsky and Jared Boll are among the many Blue Jackets currently suffering from various injuries. The lengthy Columbus disabled list is one of the major issues the team has had to deal with in their attempt to build off of last year’s late-season surge.

Luckily, the Jackets received some positive news today regarding one of their biggest offseason signings. Nathan Horton, signed as a free agent after spending three years with the Boston Bruins, has been unable to suit up for Columbus so far this year. He had offseason surgery on his shoulder, which kept him sidelined and continuously postponed his Blue Jackets debut. However, it sounds like Columbus fans won’t have to wait much longer to see Horton take the ice. He recently told the Columbus Dispatch he anticipates an early January return, and it certainly sounds like he can’t wait to lace up his skates again.

“It’s not going to be much longer,” Horton said. “I see an ending point to this. Finally.”

The Jackets need as many bodies back as they can get, but Horton’s return would definitely make a big impact. After playing in the Stanley Cup Finals for two of the past three seasons with Boston, he certainly knows what it takes to get to the postseason. This type of veteran presence would hopefully work wonders for Columbus, as they’ve been struggling to win consistently this year as they try to make the playoffs for the second time in franchise history.

There’s no set date for Horton’s official return to the ice. However, based on coach Todd Richards‘ comments, it certainly sounds like the team knows what they’ll be getting once their marquee free agent signing gets back on the ice.

“I don’t know when it’s going to happen,”  Richards said. “But I’ll tell you this: He’s prepared. He watches our games, even though he’s not playing. He has a pretty good idea of what we want to do. There’s a level of professionalism there. You can tell he’s been somewhere (with a winning culture).”

Casey Drottar is an NHL writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @CDrottar19 or “Like” him on Facebook

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