Nathan Horton

Bruins’ Horton: “I’m not even worried about my head”


Nathan Horton has put his concussion issues behind him.

“I’m not even worried about my head. Or being in contact. Or getting in a fight,” the Bruins forward told’s Joe Haggerty. “I feel better than I have in a long, long time.”

When Horton says a long time, he means a long time.

The 27-year-old winger has been dealing with concussion issues ever since Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, when he was crushed by then-Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.

Horton missed the final four games of the series, but was able to recover in time to begin the 2011-12 season, posting 32 points in 46 games.

Then, more issues.

On Jan. 22, Horton was on the receiving end of a headshot from Philadelphia’s Tom Sestito which resulted in a second concussion in seven months — one that shut Horton down for good.

He missed Boston’s final 36 games of the regular season and the entire opening round of the playoffs.

But in July, things turned around — Horton was cleared for contact and was expected to be ready for training camp (which, given everybody’s bright-eyed “there won’t be a lockout!” optimism, was supposed to start in September.)

In November, Horton’s agent informed reporters that his client was “ready to go.”

Today, Horton confirmed the diagnosis.

“[I] had a lot of time to work out and get back to normal,” he explained. “All summer I had no issues.

“I’m just excited to get going. It’s nice to be around the guys.”

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.

The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.

The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.

But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.

“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”

Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.

Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado

Jared McCann, Connor McDavid, Ben Hutton

A preseason push by a number of Vancouver Canucks youngsters has left forward Linden Vey and defenseman Frank Corrado on waivers today.

The more surprising name of the two is Corrado, the 22-year-old who entered the season with an excellent chance of making the opening-day roster. However, it seems that rookie d-man Ben Hutton, 22, has been given the nod after finishing an eye-opening preseason with one goal and four assists in seven games. (This despite Hutton being waiver exempt. So it’s a risk for the Canucks, to be sure.)

It was the play of 19-year-old rookie Jared McCann that led, in part, to the waiving of Vey. (For more on that, click here.) Veteran Adam Cracknell remains with the team as well, to some surprise.

Rookie winger Jake Virtanen is also expected to be on Vancouver’s opening-day roster, though that’s no big shock.

Defenseman Alex Biega is also on waivers, as expected.