Here’s what the McKeen’s Hockey Yearbook had to say about new Bruins winger Nathan Horton prior to last season:
“Skilled sniper whose prize weapon is a howitzer shot, accentuated by an ability to stickhandle and open up lanes … possesses excellent hand-eye coordination and a healthy skating stride … creates havoc when using his big frame (6-2, 215) to bully into scoring areas, though won’t play a mean ‘power’ game every night … comes up mysteriously short in the intensity battles and can lose focus defensively, exhibiting lazy body language and stick preparation … needs to operate at full passion on both sides of the puck to help compensate for a lack of elite game sense.”
Obviously the Bruins are hoping a change of scenery will do wonders for Horton wiping out some of the poorer parts of his reputation. To his credit, several accounts say he was playing his best two-way hockey last season before he fractured his leg in January. And you also have to factor in the way head coach Claude Julien has managed to get players with similar reputations (Marc Savard, Phil Kessel) to play hard at both ends of the rink.