Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Panthers trade Nathan Horton to Boston

Will the last scorer please turn off the lights at the Bank Atlantic Center. From the Sun-SentinelNathan Horton2-

The Panthers traded right winger Nathan Horton to the Bruins on Tuesday, along with forward Gregory Campbell, for the 15th pick in this year’s draft, defenseman Dennis Wideman and a third-round pick in 2011.

Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon said Horton asked to be traded in Tallon’s initial conversation with the winger after he was hired.

“He showed frustration and felt maybe it would be better if he was able to go somewhere else,” Tallon said.

Horton, 25, was the Panthers’ second-longest tenured player. They drafted him No. 3 in 2003. He was the team’s second-leading scorer this past season, finishing with 57 points (20 goals) in 65 games. He missed 17 games with a broken leg.

Horton was happy to be moving on to Boston.

“I’m not going to say anything bad about the [Panthers] organization, but there have been five coaches in the time I’ve been there,” Horton said. “Now I’m going to a stable, historic organization. I’m very excited. I’m going to give it all I’ve got. I think it’s going to be good.”

Horton said not getting a chance to play in the playoffs has been hard to deal with.

“As a player, that’s the best part of playing hockey,” he said. “When you don’t make them for seven years, I just think it’s too long. It can’t happen. With this [Bruins] organization, it just doesn’t happen. It’s exciting for me just to come and be a part of it.”

Horton has 142 goals and 153 assists in 422 career games.

Tallon said Horton “was frustrated with what had gone on in the past and was leaning toward, if we could help him out, seeing what was out there for him. That’s how this all began.” Tallon said when he told Horton of the trade this morning, “he thanked me.”

Wideman, 27, had six goals and 24 assists for the Bruins this past season and averaged more than 23 minutes of ice time.

First, I’m not going to miss Gregory Campbell. He was an almost total offensive zero last season who got way too much playing time because he was Coach Peter DeBoer’s pet(He coached Campbell in junior leagues). For that reason I think DeBoer was bypassed in the decision making progress that led to this trade. Unless Florida plays well next year, I bet DeBoer won’t be back for the 2011-12 NHL season.

As for Horton, he’s been an underacheiver with a poor work ethic on a team that at best muddles their way through an NHL season. Trading him for a #15 is great but leaves the Panthers with a big offensive hole. 5 draft selections in the top 50 picks are great, but none of them are likely to play in the next NHL season, alone have any kind of impact. Florida could take the pick and trade for someone. Names that are being floated around include Jeff Carter, Jason Spezza, or Kris Versteeg. Florida’s new General Manager came from Chicago, so Versteeg would be the obvious one of the three above but I like Carter the most.

Also blogging on the Horton trade- Donny at the Litter Box and Stanley Cup of Chowder.

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