When the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Nathan Horton to a seven-year, $37.1 million deal on Friday, they did it knowing the rugged power forward would need to undergo shoulder surgery, a procedure that would put him out for a while.
Today, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports Horton will have surgery next week — in Boston, day not yet determined — and be out four to six months.
Horton reportedly has a chronic shoulder injury dating back to his time with Florida. He re-injured it during a fight against Jarome Iginla in April, then tweaked it again during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Chicago.
Here’s more on Horton’s recovery plans and estimated return, from the Dispatch:
Horton is going to miss at least the first two months of the season while he recovers from shoulder surgery. So the Jackets could be without him for the first 20 or 30 games, maybe more.
When Horton does return, Richards indicated that he and Marian Gaborik — a multiyear 40-goal scorer — would be on different lines, first so they could stay in their preferred spots (right wing) but also to give opponents something to fret about.
Health concerns have been a constant for Horton throughout his nine-year career. While he’s participated in 80+ games in three seasons, he’s also missed 75 games over the last five seasons due to the aforementioned shoulder issues, and a concussion suffered during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final against Vancouver.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.