Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

Horton's Back Injury Could End Career


elvis15

Recommended Posts

The Blue Jackets aren’t ready to move on without injured right wing Nathan Horton yet.

But optimism is fading that Horton will be able to play this season, and there’s growing concern that the 29-year-old’s career might be finished.

Horton, who signed a seven-year, $37.1 million free-agent contract with the Blue Jackets in the summer of 2013, has been diagnosed with “degeneration” of the entire lumbar region of his spine, or the lower back, sources told The Dispatch.

Surgery has not been scheduled or ruled out, but it is viewed as a last resort, sources said. It’s a delicate procedure, with no guarantee of relief.

“Nathan is a frustrated kid right now,” said his agent, Paul Krepelka. “This is normally a really easygoing guy, a happy guy, but he’s just so frustrated by all of this.

“He signed with Columbus to make an impact, to play a big role on a team that’s on the rise. He was so excited about doing it. The fact that he hasn’t been able to make any meaningful contributions is just extremely frustrating to him.”

While the Blue Jackets are preparing for three games in California, starting Thursday at the San Jose Sharks, Horton is resting in Columbus, as he has been for weeks. He has not been available for comment.

“He’s going to rest it and see if it responds,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.

Horton has been troubled by a sore lower back for several seasons, sources said, but it became significantly worse during the offseason. Kekalainen said Horton was experienced extreme discomfort while jogging in Florida this summer.

“He’s in constant pain,” Krepelka said. “He’s in constant discomfort.”

The Blue Jackets will be covered by insurance for most of Horton’s salary — $6 million this season — once he misses the club’s 21st game of the season, on Nov. 25. Future seasons would work the same.

Horton could be placed on the long-term injured reserve list if the Blue Jackets need space under the NHL salary cap, but that’s not yet an issue. The Blue Jackets are $7.17 million under the cap, according to CapGeek.com.

The bigger issue is on the ice and in the dressing room for the Blue Jackets. Horton was signed to be a big presence on the right side in the top six. The Blue Jackets expected him to play with left wing Boone Jenner and center Ryan Johansen, on what they called the “jumbo” line.

He’s also the only player in the room with a Stanley Cup ring, having won in 2011 with the Boston Bruins.

Kekalainen has acknowledged making calls to several other general managers to test the waters about obtaining a replacement for Horton. Kekalainen is likely to be bolder as the season moves along, when some clubs have drifted out of playoff contention and are more amenable to trading top-flight players.

The Blue Jackets are without three players projected to be among their top six forwards this season. In addition to Horton, center Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery) and Jenner (broken hand) are expected to be out at least another month.

But those injuries seem minor compared to Horton’s situation.

He would be the most prominent NHL player since New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy to retire at such an early age because of a back ailment. Bossy was 30 when, after taking a year off to rest his back, he called it quits in 1987.

http://bluejacketsxtra.dispatch.com/content/blogs/puck-rakers/2014/10/horton-back-could-end-season-career.html

They'd be in real trouble if they hadn't reached a deal with Johansen, as it's even more important they keep him in light they may be losing a 1st line forward. Perhaps they can pay the price for a replacement, but that'll be a tough ask unless they give up a lot to get someone who's fallen out of favour somewhere or has an onerous contract.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Real unfortunate. Was one of the leagues best PF's a few years ago and injuries wrecked him. Shouldn't be too bad for CBJ as they've played a ton without him since they signed him so they should be used to life without him now. As for Horton, feel pretty bad for him and hope he can become healthy once again. The hockey part doesn't matter as much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's horrible. Back pain is horrendous. Anyone who's ever had back problems knows that it affects every aspect of your life.

Here's hoping they can do something for him. It's sad that this may end his career (and maybe should if it's a problem that can't be fixed but will only get worse...) but hopefully they can make him more comfortable and able to live a normal life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read an article related to this earlier in the week; as somebody that has suffered with lower back pain in his L3-L5 Vertabrae(Spinal Stenosis/Teathered tailbone; to simplify, think Muscle Spasms + Arthritis pain in your spine/back) since age 12 I sincerely sympathize with Horton, I played soccer 8 years prior, and its awful. frustrating and truly infuriating to have what you love taken from you.

I hope he can find something to fix his spine; because in all the years I've dealt with this, I haven't found anything yet. (and I've tried...alot of crap)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now here's the question. The injury was not caused in Columbus. But insurance will cover it as per clauses written in.

But will CBJ be allowed to just sluff the cap via LTI like Boston and Phi are doing with Savard and Pronger?

Also, the Bossy comparison is nearly insulting, one good playoffs and a mediocre career in Florida...come on. he's not that prominent a player

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Horton has been plagued with injuries for as long as I can remember him playing so the Jackets should have been well prepared.

This exactly.

I just wonder what kind of allowance the league will be giving him as this was not directly caused by play nor by a specific play while under contract

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now here's the question. The injury was not caused in Columbus. But insurance will cover it as per clauses written in.

But will CBJ be allowed to just sluff the cap via LTI like Boston and Phi are doing with Savard and Pronger?

Also, the Bossy comparison is nearly insulting, one good playoffs and a mediocre career in Florida...come on. he's not that prominent a player

Well, technically I don't know that it was caused by anyone. He plays a physical game and his back was getting worse. He played last year but then as it states in the article he had it worsen this summer. I don't know that you can fully predict that, apart from the say his back isn't 100%.

We could say the same for Edler, and if it worsened similar to Horton, I'd sure hope we could use LTI relief as well.

But then, Columbus isn't even close to the cap and can't use LTI anyway, so not sure why it matters. He'll just go on IR and it'll get covered by insurance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone know what the diagnosis is other than degenerative of the lumbar region? Degenerative discs? I can't find much other than the Columbus Dispatch article and NHL.com. Sounds bad. Even if he heals it will never be quite the same. Injuries really start compound after 30.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No kidding. Living the dream and then this

I have a few friends who are ex nhlers and they told me they needed therapy to deal with the changes that came after retirement .. your ego alone takes a huge hit .. unless your a superstar , the moment that jersey comes off , your just a regular schlub

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...