Fantasy Impact: The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed winger Nathan Horton to a seven year contract with an annual cap hit of $5.3 million).
Seven years is the maximum term allowed to free agents not re-signing with their own teams (which is eight).
The Blue Jackets get:
A very skilled and very big winger with some lingering injury concerns. Horton wanted to go to a city where he could live a “quiet life” – I imagine he isn’t a guy who enjoys a lot of media/fan pressure. And that’s fine – we aren’t all wired the same way.
Horton has scored over 20 goals six times in the NHL. He will bring a lot of size to the Blue Jackets (6-2 and 230 pounds). And he has the experience of two deep Stanley Cup runs, one ending in victory.
Fantasy Players Impacted:
Horton, unfortunately, won’t have a center of the Krejci/Bergeron caliber in Columbus (at least not right away). He is going to open up a lot of ice for his linemates, though.
My early guess as to the top line:
Artem Anisimov centering Marian Gaborik and Horton. Anisimov to do the defensive work, Gaborik the puck carrier, and Horton as the net presence and the guy to dig out loose pucks and win puck battles.
Horton only plays on the right side, so this won’t negative impact any of Columbus’s left wingers.
In Boston, this opens up a spot in the top six for a young guy (although I think the Bruins are still looking at the free agent market to fill this hole). Loui Eriksson will play right wing on one of the top two lines. After that, who knows. Mark Fraser? Ryan Spooner moving over from center?
Potential Columbus lines:
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
4. Nick Foligno
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Cam Atkinson
3. Matt Calvert
4. Ryan Johansen
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