Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets made the biggest splash in the early stages of free agency on Friday, agreeing to terms with unrestricted free-agent forward Nathan Horton on a seven-year contract.

"Nathan Horton was the player we identified as a perfect fit for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we are very happy to welcome Nathan and his family to our organization," said Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. "He is an elite power forward who brings size, skill and a great desire to compete to our lineup. He is also a person of great character and someone who will fit in very well with our team."

Horton, who spent the last three seasons with the Bruins, posted 13 goals and 22 points in 43 regular-season games, then contributed 19 points (7G, 12A) in 22 playoff appearances this past season.

An integral part of Boston's 2011 Stanley Cup team after a 53-point regular season followed by a 17-point playoff run, Horton leaves the Hub after totaling 56 goals and 107 points in 169 games.

"I am very excited and proud to be a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. This is a team on the rise with great players and I'm looking forward to being a part of it," said Horton. "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."

The 28-year-old Ontario native comes to Ohio's capital having collected 198 goals and 402 points in 591 games along with a plus-57 rating with the Panthers and Bruins.

According to reports, he will undergo shoulder surgery related to an injury suffered during this year's playoffs.

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