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Bruins: Nathan Horton expected to play

Nathan Horton should be ready to participate when the Bruins open training camp later this year.

General manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed that the 27-year-old winger, who played in only 46 games last season after battling concussions, is expected to take the ice in September.

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“By all accounts from our medical staff, [Horton] will be ready to play when it comes time to play,” Chiarelli said Tuesday as the team formally announced a contract extension for head coach Claude Julien.

Horton was knocked out of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals against the Canucks when Aaron Rome blindsided him with a check that resulted in a suspension for the Vancouver defenseman.

He returned to the ice to start the 2011-12 season, but was sidelined again with another concussion when the Flyers’ Tom Sestito knocked him out in January.

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Chiarelli also said that Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid has been cleared for contact after suffering a concussion late last season.

Other teams, such as the New York Rangers (who acquired Rick Nash) have made some major moves, and Chiarelli said the Bruins were taking notice. “We don’t react right away,” Chiarelli said. “But we do not ignore ... we are not standing still.” Chiarelli said no roster changes are expected prior to the start of the season.

The general manager also praised Julien, who has led the Bruins since 2007.

“Over [Julien’s] tenure here, he’s show the ability to adapt,” Chiarelli said. “He’s had a very, very disciplined team, which is a testament to his coaching. At the same time, it is a tough team. That’s a difficult balance to maintain and he’s been able to do that with success.”

Kevin Paul Dupont contributed
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