He leads all players in plus/minus in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a +21. He is second in total points with 17 (7 G 10 A) and has been dominant on one of the best lines in hockey throughout the Black and Gold’s Cup run.
It begs the question: Should the Bruins re-sign Nathan Horton?
Horton finished the regular season with 13 goals and nine assists in 43 games. At times, B’s fans wanted him long gone, but then at times B’s fans could not picture him in another uniform.
Horton has been clutch for the B’s ever since he has come to the Bruins especially in the post season. He has six game-winning goals in a B’s sweater and now sits four wins away from his second Stanley Cup in three years.
He has seen his teammates sign big contracts-one being Tyler Seguin-and Seguin has only one goal in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. So, what else does Horton have to do?
His chemistry with his line mates David Krejci and Milan Lucic has been superb. The line has combined for 51 points in 16 games. At times during the regular season, this line was non-existent. But, as the B’s inch closer to another Stanley Cup, this line has played a major role in the teams’ success-without question.
One argument for not resigning Horton is the lingering question about his health. Horton seems to be nicked up at times and his concussion problems seemed not to go away, but from his performance in these playoffs, Horton is healthy and ready for a nice pay-day.
David Krejci has been unworldly in these playoffs, but that would not have happened without the help of his line mates especially Horton. Horton has been using his big frame to keep pucks in and shield defenders to give Krejci time and space.
David Krejci actually reiterated that many of his goals were because of Horton’s hard work.
Horton will be a hot commodity in the free agent market this summer. Due to the diminishing cap, the B’s may not be able to afford the right-winger, but if Horton decides to take a home town discount-all bets are off.
According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, the B’s are 13-2 in the playoffs when Horton scores a goal and 19-3 when he scores a point in a playoff game. In 37 playoff games for the B’s, he has 15 goals and 19 assists with a plus-32 rating in 37 post season games.
To me, this is a no-brainer to re-sign Horton. His big-game ability is like no other and his chemistry with Krejci and Lucic has the B’s first line the talk of the National Hockey League.
The only issue with re-signing Horton is money. According to Capgeek.com the Bruins have just $5.8 Million in cap space next season. Most of, if not all of that $5.8 Million will be given to Tuukka Rask who is a restricted free agent after this season.
The Bruins could use one or even both of their amnesty buyouts this summer to free up some cap space in order to re-sign Horton, but deciding who gets the boot won’t be an easy decision for General Manager Peter Chiarelli, especially if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup.
Horton declined to speak of his contract for next year because you know, the Black and Gold are looking to host another parade in Boston in a few weeks.