Horton was back in the Bay State on Wednesday to participate in linemate Milan Lucic‘s charity Rock & Jock Celebrity Softball Game at LeLacheur Park in Lowell. As usual, Horton was all smiles as he discussed the charity game, Boston’s Stanley Cup victory and his recovery from the concussion.
But Horton’s mood darkened a bit when asked if Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome had ever reached out to him after delivering the late hit that knocked Horton out of the final four games of the Cup Final and also earned Rome a four-game suspension to end his postseason, as well.
“Just through a text message,” Horton said.
“If it was me, I wouldn’t have thrown a text message someone’s way,” Horton added. “I’d have a little bit more respect to actually make a phone call.”
While there has been no significant communication between Horton and Rome, Horton does hope that the injury he suffered and the punishment to Rome will help get the message out to the rest of the league that such deliberate attempts to injure can no longer be tolerated in the game.
Horton also made it clear he has no interest in taking hitting out of the game or limiting the physicality of the sport. It’s just the dangerous and unnecessary hits like Rome’s late shot on Horton that have to be eliminated.
“There’s guys that hit out there and they hit lots and they hit hard and they hurt people, but I think they do it within the game,” Horton said. “You just know you have to have that respect factor when you hit people. The people that don’t understand that or don’t get it, I think that’s what we need to fix and what we need to change. There’s a difference between hitting hard and hitting dirty. That’s definitely something that shouldn’t be in the game.”
And if that line does get crossed and a dirty hit delivered, at least be a man and pick up a phone when it comes time to apologize.