July 5, 2013

Horton, Ference lead list of key departures for B's

By Jesse Connolly

Nathan Horton will get to live the "quieter life" he and his family coveted in Columbus. (Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets)

We knew they were moving on. Now we know where all of the Bruins' departing free agents will be continuing their NHL careers.


Ference revealed he wouldn't be coming back to Boston on breakup day last week, winding up as a cap casualty with younger, cheaper replacements now at the ready. The veteran of more than 700 NHL games will head to his hometown after signing a four-year, $13 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers. A Stanley Cup champion with the B's in 2011, Ference, 34, has been to the finals three times and should provide great leadership and steady 'D' for the Oil.

Bruins career: 16 goals, 78 assists, 94 points in 373 games

Quotable: "Obviously, I've got the nostalgia, but I'm just excited about the situation they have now with the talent, a new coach, a new attitude," Ference told TSN. "It's going to be good."


After Peter Chiarelli claimed he intended to bring Horton back, the right winger decided he'd test the market and that his days in Boston were over. Brought in via trade in 2010 from Florida, Horton was a huge playoff performer for the Black and Gold. He'll look to help a young, promising Blue Jackets team get to the postseason now, as Columbus inked him to a seven-year deal worth $5.3 million annually.

Bruins career: 56 goals, 51 assists, 107 points in 169 games

Quotable: "This is a team on the rise with great players and I'm looking forward to being a part of it," Horton told the team's web site.


Khudobin is out after one impressive full season of NHL duty. The Kazakhstani netminder was a more-than-capable backup to Tuukka Rask in 2013 after serving as the starter down in Providence. He should have a chance at earning more playing time behind Cam Ward, as Khudobin inked a one-year contract with the Hurricanes worth $800,000.

Bruins career: 9-4-1, 2.26 GAA, .926 Sv% in 15 games

Quotable: “He played on a very good team with the Bruins, and he had great numbers,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said. “We have a scout right in Boston that saw a lot of him. He started talking about him midway through the season.

Quick hits

Boston also lost spare d-man Aaron Johnson. The well-traveled rearguard signed with the Rangers. He appeared in 10 games during his lone season with the Bruins in 2013, failing to register a point. The Blueshirts also inked former B's forward Benoit Pouliot.

Former Bruin Michael Ryder was reportedly down to New Jersey and Boston on where to sign. He elected to ink a two-year deal worth $3.5 annually with the Devils.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com