Jarmo Kekalainen has made his second significant splash as Columbus GM, inking former Bruins power forward Nathan Horton to a seven-year, $37.1 million deal.
The deal carries a $5.3 million annual cap hit and, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Horton will receive $30 million of his salary in the first five years of the deal.
Horton, 28, spent the last three seasons in Boston, emerging as a gifted net-front presence with a knack for coming up large in the playoffs.
During the most recent Cup run, he finished with 19 points in 22 games despite being irked by a troublesome shoulder.
A six-time 20-goal scorer, he’ll immediately upgrade the Columbus offense. The Blue Jackets didn’t have a reliable scorer last season after Rick Nash was sent to New York, though they did improve by picking up Marian Gaborik at the trade deadline.
With this deal, Horton gets a notable pay bump from the $4 million he was making annually on his last deal.