COLUMBUS — The Columbus Blue Jackets made a major move on Friday to shore up their lagging offense by signing free-agent right wing Nathan Horton away from the Boston Bruins.
The 28-year-old playoff-hardened forward, who visited Columbus earlier this week, signed a seven-year deal worth $37.1 million — with $30 million of that coming in the first five years.
"This is a team on the rise with great players and I'm looking forward to being a part of it," Horton said of the Blue Jackets. "We felt at home as soon as we visited here and it was pretty clear to us that this is where we wanted to live. This is a great fit for me and my family."
It was a very busy first day of NHL free agency.
Jarome Iginla signed a one-year deal with the Bruins. The longtime Calgary Flames and short-time Pittsburg Penguins forward will make $1.8 million guaranteed and can make up to $6 million with Boston.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, coming off their first postseason appearance since 2004, also made a statement by signing New Jersey Devils forward David Clarkson to a $36.75 million, seven-year deal and keeping first-line center Tyler Bozak with a $21 million, five-year deal.
After losing Daniel Alfredsson to the Detroit Red Wings, the Senators, though, got younger and perhaps better up front by acquiring Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks via trade.
A lot of other teams also made moves to jockey for position:
■ Phoenix signed forward Mike Ribeiro to a $22 million, four-year contract.
■ New Jersey signed forward Ryane Clowe to a five-year, $24.25 million contract, and forward Michael Ryder to a two-year, $7 million deal.
■ Philadelphia gave captain Claude Giroux an eight-year extension worth over $64 million and signed Chicago's backup goalie Ray Emery to a one-year deal.
■ The Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Michal Rozsival and forward Michal Handzus.