Nathan Horton inks 7-year, $37.1 million contract with Blue Jackets

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When Nathan Horton decided to leave the Boston Bruins and test the free agent market, he wanted to go somewhere that was quiet and not as busy like what you'd find in a major media market. On Friday, he found that place after signing a seven year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

From the Blue Jackets:

Nathan Horton was the player we identified as a perfect fit for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we are very happy to welcome Nathan and his family to our organization,” said [Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo] Kekalainen. “He is an elite power forward who brings size, skill and a great desire to compete to our lineup. He is also a person of great character and someone who will fit in very well with our team.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the deal is worth $37.1 million, with Horton getting $30 million of it within the first five years.

The signing puts Columbus close to the salary cap ceiling with a little more than $2.6 million of room, according to CapGeek.

One note on Horton: Blue Jackets fans will have to wait to see him in a jersey as a shoulder injury suffered during the Stanley Cup Playoffs will keep him out of the lineup until at least December. He'll need surgery on it, as per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

While they wait for Horton, Blue Jackets fans can celebrate a new era in Columbus under president of hockey operations John Davidson and GM Jarmo Kekalainen. The Horton signing is already being called the biggest in franchise history, and after the deadline deal that brought Marian Gaborik to town, plus Sergei Bobrovsky coming off a Vezina Trophy-winning season, there's finally a lot of hope filling Blue Jackets' fans hearts -- and it's not hoping the head coach/GM gets fired for once.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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