Columbus Blue Jackets Sign Nathan Horton to 7-Year Deal

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 5, 2013

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 19: Nathan Horton #18 of the Boston Bruins skates on the ice during warm ups for Game Four of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on June 19, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Free-agent right winger Nathan Horton has agreed to a seven-year contract to become a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The team's official Twitter page broke news of the acquisition on Friday, and TSN's Bob McKenzie outlined the financial details:

UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 4:47 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo

Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe provides details on Horton's shoulder surgery:

---End of Update---

According to the Blue Jackets' website, a press conference will be held at approximately 4 p.m. ET to announce the signing.

As McKenzie points out, the chronic shoulder issue that Horton has dealt with will require surgery this summer, and he likely won't be able to play for his new club until December:

That will probably force Horton out for roughly the first two months of the 2013-14 regular season.

Horton most recently played for the Boston Bruins and was a key contributor in their run to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, where they ultimately lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. The 28-year-old registered seven goals and 12 assists in 22 postseason contests.

This marks the second significant loss for the Bruins this offseason, The first, albeit in a trade, was dealing Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars, as reported by Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.

CBS Sports' Adam Gretz believes Boston had to clear salary-cap space to make way for contracts involving goaltender Tuukka Rask and dynamic center Patrice Bergeron.

As for the Blue Jackets, this is definitely a big splash on the open market. Not only does Horton bring some necessary star power to a historically putrid franchise, but he also has recent experience on the NHL's grandest stage to carry with him.

The Columbus faithful just have to hope that Horton's shoulder holds up well after offseason surgery so he can live up to his contract.