NHL.com's Wigge: Blue Jackets following a winning formula
Since he left the familiar surroundings of Denver after 13 seasons of being a member of the Quebec/Colorado organization, Adam Foote said he would often look around the Columbus Blue Jackets locker room over the last two seasons and see some of the same things he remembered seeing many, many years ago before the Avalanche became a consistent winner.
You could say it was a sort of flashback ... or maybe an omen. An omen of what good things come when you see the kind of talent that comes with really high draft choices in the infancy of a team like the Blue Jackets that was born in 2000.
"The mind is a very fragile thing," Foote told me a couple of weeks ago, after Ken Hitchcock replaced Gerard Gallant as coach of the Blue Jackets and gave the team a reason to win. "I'd look around this locker room and see Rick Nash, Nikolai Zherdev and so many other young players with great talent, great potential. But it was in our mind mentally, all the losing. We were sick of losing and we needed a direction."
"It was like I always knew that the same kind of talent, the same kind of great people who could win were in this room," Foote said of the feeling he had in his new locker room in Columbus, only with a different cast of great, young talent. "We were just not getting the same results. ... Yeah, it was a lot like 1994, when Crow came into Quebec, after we had missed the playoffs the year before, and the things he said, the communication we needed to help us get to the next level."