IRNathan Horton
RW FA
2 months ago

Horton (back) failed his physical -- as expected -- for the Leafs on Thursday, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports.

EDGE Analysis

Horton's deal -- $5.3 million annually through 2019-20 -- can now be designated for long-term injured reserve which will provide the Leafs with much needed cap relief. This figures to be an annual process for the 32-year-old until his contract runs out at which point he will officially retire.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
10 months ago

Horton (back) remains on the Leafs' payroll, but his $5.3 million salary (through 2019-2020) does not count against the team's salary cap.

EDGE Analysis

Rich teams can afford to absorb big salaries like Horton's, as he remains trapped on the league's long-term injured reserve list. Horton is struggling with a degenerative spine issue that has had him out of action since 2014. He will likely never return to the game as a player.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
1 year ago

Horton (back) has been placed on injured reserve by the Maple Leafs, according to the NHL Media site.

EDGE Analysis

Horton failed his physical and wasn't a member of the team's training camp roster, so his placement on injured reserve isn't overly surprising. The winger tallied 19 points (five goals, four assists) as a member of Columbus in 2013, but hasn't played in the NHL since then and is unlikely to play with the Leafs when he's ready to return.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
3 years ago

Horton (back) was traded to the Maple Leafs on Thursday in exchange for David Clarkson.

The swap is more about contracts than ability, as Clarkson has been massively disappointing since signing a long-term deal, while Horton's injury may put an end to his career. The Leafs get the half of the deal with more long-term upside, and the Blue Jackets get a player who can contribute immediately. If Horton plays again, it presumably won't be this season.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
3 years ago

Horton (back) was in Columbus on Thursday to speak to the front office, and hasn't yet given up on the possibility of playing again, the Columbus Dispatch reports. "There's been some progress there. He is feeling a little better," president of hockey operations John Davidson said. "I don't know what that means in the big picture, but he's better now than he was earlier this season. His whole attitude was different better than the last time we saw him."

Horton may yet have to undergo career-ending back surgery, and he's not going to be a factor for the Blue Jackets this season in any case, but this is the first remotely good news on Horton in months. Expect his hockey future to become clearer in the offseason.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
3 years ago

Horton is bracing for the possibility of career-ending surgery to rectify his degenerative spinal condition, Jimmy Hascup of USA Today reports.

Horton has been bothered by his back since April, with the injury preventing him from executing simple everyday tasks such as bending over and getting in and out of vehicles. Since he's noticed little improvement over the last several months, it seems likely that Horton may have to opt for a surgery that would involve fusing three or four of his vertebrae with a titanium rod. Such a procedure would help Horton live without pain in his day-to-day life, but would force him to give up hockey for good, so as not to risk aggravating the injury. Expect Horton to hold out hope that his condition will take a turn for the better before the season comes to an end, but it's looking increasingly likely that the 29-year-old may have to call it quits a bit prematurely.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
3 years ago

The Blue Jackets fear that Horton (back) will not be able to suit up in 2014-15, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Horton, who was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the regular season, has been diagnosed with a degeneration of the entire lumbar region of his spine, a serious condition that could spell the end of his career. The Blue Jackets are still viewing surgery as a last-resort option for Horton, but there's growing concern the forward may never skate for Columbus -- or any other team -- again. He'll continue to rest up for several weeks before a decision is made on his next course of action.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
3 years ago

Horton (back) was placed on injured reserve Sunday, Shawn Mitchell of The Columbus Dispatch reports.

Horton is dealing with a "degenerative" back issue, and hasn't been given a timetable for return. His placement on injured reserve means he will miss at least a week, but it wouldn't be surprising if he is out longer than that.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
3 years ago

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said Horton is dealing with a "degenerative" back condition, and the club remains unwilling to venture a guess on a possible timetable for his return, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports.

The back issue has prevented Horton from stepping on the ice so far during training camp, and pessimism about the winger's availability for the start of the regular season seems to be mounting. Kekalainen suggested Horton would try to remedy the degenerative condition by focusing on strengthening his core muscles, but even that process could take awhile before the pain subsides. A top-six role likely awaits for Horton when he's healthy, but because that's rarely been the case over the previous three seasons, it's probably not worthwhile for fantasy owners to pin their hopes on him.

IRNathan Horton
RW FA
3 years ago

Horton (back) may not participate at all in training camp, and he could be sidelined for the initial stages of the regular season, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

The Blue Jackets have apparently known for a while about Horton's back injury, but managed to keep it under wraps. Horton managed to play in just 36 games last season due to shoulder and abdominal injuries, and 2014-2015 is starting out in much the same way. Be very cautious before drafting him this year.