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Horton, Blue Jackets agree to seven-year, $37 million deal

The SportsXchange

Forward Nathan Horton and the Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to terms on a seven-year, $37.1 million contract.

"This is a team on the rise with great players," Horton told the Blue Jackets' web site. "I'm looking forward to being a part of it."

Horton, one of the top free agents in this year's pool, said last week he would test his options and not likely return to the Boston Bruins.

He was touring the Blue Jackets' Nationwide Arena home and meeting with a variety of team officials on Wednesday and 48 hours later the two sides completed a contract that averages $5.3 million annually.

The Blue Jackets have not made the playoffs for the last four seasons -- falling short in the last weekend of the abbreviated 2013 regular season -- and were in desperate need of offense to help bolster the support of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

Columbus finished 25th in the NHL in goals (2.40 per game) and 27th in shots on goal per game (26.7) last season.

Horton scored 13 goals in 47 regular season games.

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