LOWELL, Mass. -- Boston Bruins winger Nathan Horton was at LaLacheur Park Wednesday night to take part in the second annual Milan Lucic Rock and Jock Celebrity softball game. But the good news for Bruins fans is that Horton told the media prior to the game that he is symptom-free from the concussion he suffered in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals in June.
Horton, who was knocked out of that game and the series by a first-period hit from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome, said he has been symptom-free for most of the summer and is now working out in preparation for the season. He has not skated yet.
"I feel pretty good. I don't have any headaches. I'm back to normal and I'm excited to start playing again," Horton said. "It just takes some time and we had a little time to take off and I just feel like myself. I can't really tell you the timetable but it was really quick and I feel good."
Horton still doesn't feel too good about Rome, though. When asked if the Vancouver blueliner ever reached out to him, he responded: "If it was me, I wouldn't have thrown a text message someone's way. I'd have a little bit more respect to actually make a phone call."
He said there should be more respect among players especially when considering hits to the head, such as the one that sidelined Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and the one Horton himself sustained.
"Definitely those kind of hits I think," Horton said when asked if the hit he took from Rome should make players, fans and the league do more to rid the game of such violence. "Players hit hard, they hurt people and I think that they do it within the game and you just know to have that respect factor when you hit people.
"The people that don't understand that or don't get it, I think that that's what you need to fix and you need to change. That's the difference between hitting hard and hitting dirty and that's definitely something that shouldn't be in the game."
Horton admitted he wasn't completely up to date on Crosby but feels very fortunate not to be going through post-concussion symptoms like Crosby.
"I have been a little bit, I'm not really sure exactly but I know he's still having troubles," Horton said. "But yeah, (I'm) real lucky. Concussions are not fun and to have to battle that, it's tough. I'm fortunate to feel pretty good and not have any setbacks."
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.