There's nothing to the rumor that the Panthers want to deal 24-year-old forward Nathan Horton, the team's leading scorer. Florida coach Peter DeBoer and G.M. Randy Sexton see Horton (below) as being a top-tier power forward for years to come.... Last week highly rated ref Dave Jackson blew out his knee in a collision with Blue Jackets star Rick Nash and will need at least a year after surgery to return to NHL form. With excellent veterans Bill McCreary, Kerry Fraser and Dan Marouelli retiring after this season, the league could face a shortage of truly qualified referees.... It hasn't been a great season for the Ducks, except for winger Corey Perry. His in-your-face style plus his ability to finish (13 goals) would get much more notice if Anaheim were winning. Expect Perry to play a big role for Canada at the Olympics.
MICHAEL TURESKI/ICON SMI (HORTON)