The Bruins were informed of Horton’s decision today.
“Pursuant to his rights under the CBA, Nathan has informed the Bruins that he is going to explore his options as an unrestricted free agent,” Paul Krepelka, Horton’s agent, said in a statement.
Horton appeared in 169 regular-season games for the Bruins over the last three years. Horton scored 56 goals and 51 assists.
In the playoffs, Horton scored 15 goals and 21 assists in 43 games. Horton was the right wing alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci. GM Peter Chiarelli classified the threesome as the best line in the NHL.
Horton should command a bigger contract on the market than had he remained in Boston. The 28-year-old has a concussion history and will require surgery on his left shoulder. But Horton has raised his performance during his two active postseasons.
It’s possible the Bruins could trade Horton’s negotiating rights. However, given Horton’s desire to hit the open market, the Bruins might not be able to demand much in return.
The Bruins are now down their top two right wings. Jaromir Jagr will not be re-signed.