« Schedule Stuff | Main | Second Panther in the Hall of Fame: Congrats to Dino Ciccarelli »

Nathan Horton Wanted Out of Florida, Gets Wish: Horton, Gregory Campbell Traded to Boston

Horton2 LAS VEGAS – The Florida Panthers made their first blockbuster moves under new general manager Dale Tallon on Tuesday as Nathan Horton was shipped to Boston in a package deal.

Horton, the third overall pick in the 2003, goes to Boston along with restricted free agent Gregory Campbell in exchange for the 15th pick in the upcoming draft, defenseman Dennis Wideman and Boston's third round pick in 2011.

“You have to start with goaltending and defense and work your way out,'' Tallon said. "We wanted to make a good deal, a fair deal. Getting a first round pick and getting a defenseman, this was a good match.

"We wanted a first round pick, a right handed shot to help our power play. In the long run, want to build through the draft. We had a lot of partners, lot of scenarios. This one made the most sense.''

Horton played on Florida's top line and scored 142 goals with 153 assists in 422 career games with the Panthers. He has three seasons remaining on his contract, one worth $4 million per season. Horton has a no-movement clause that kicks in July 1.

Wideman, 27, is signed through the 2011-12 season and makes $3.9 million per year. Wideman scored six goals for the Bruins last season and has 46 in his career.

"You have to just move on and get excited about the new guy,'' coach Pete DeBoer said. "Dale has a blueprint on how to build this team. He's going piece by piece. We all see the weaknesses from goal scoring. The reality is, the group we had not getting job done. Changes are expected.

"Dale has made it very clear and very clear to everyone he's spoken to that he knows what he wants the roster to look like. It's not going to happen overnight, but he's going to be bold and get there sooner than later. I'm going in with an open mind. At the very least, get a bunch of good young kids and get to work with them.''

Tallon said on a conference call that Horton was one of the players contacted who said he would rather play somewhere else. "We want players who want to play here,'' Tallon said.

Horton, according to Tallon, was frustrated with the Panthers organization and hoped Tallon could facilitate a deal. When Tallon told Horton of the move, "he thanked me.''

DeBoer said that Horton's attitude had taken a positive turn. "He was better for us,'' DeBoer said. DeBoer added that Horton expressed frustration with the Panthers during his exit interview after the season.

"In my exit meeting with Nathan, he had a lot of frustration just like a lot of guys,'' DeBoer said. "That's expected. My feedback to Nathan was I was glad he was frustrated. He was much better for us than he was the year before. He was going in the right direction.''