In the fourth installment of our off-season series, BlueJackets.com posed 10 questions to new Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kristian Huselius, who signed a contract with the team on July 2.
BlueJackets.com: What were your first impressions after signing in Columbus?
Kristian Huselius: Well, I talked to Ken Hitchcock and Scott Howson that day, and everything felt good after talking to them. I liked the direction the team was going and had been going the past couple of years. (With Calgary) I played a lot against Columbus, they improved a lot and were a tough team to play against last season. (Hitchcock and Howson) really thought my skill and capability to play with the puck fit with their system, and that was important to me.
CBJ.com: How excited are you to be here?
KH: I'm very excited. This is going to be an exciting team in the next few years, with young players getting better and better. I wanted to be a part of this and hopefully I can help the team make the playoffs for the first time. We have a great player in Rick Nash and a good goaltender - if we can come together quick in training camp and get some confidence, I think we’re going to make a lot of noise.
CBJ.com: What did you know about Columbus before signing?
KH: I didn't know a lot. I knew it was a nice city to live in, I heard a lot of good words. I talked to a couple of guys who played in Columbus before I signed, and they had nothing but good things to say. This is a good place for families, with good schools for my two daughters. It was good to talk to those people and hear good things about the city. It really wasn't a tough decision.
CBJ.com: How would your teammates describe your personality?
KH: I would say I'm a pretty calm guy. Wow, that's a tough question! I don't like to make a lot of noise around me; I'm pretty quiet.
|Kristian Huselius (with the Flames last season) playing in what will be his new favorite arena come September. |
CBJ.com: What is your favorite NHL arena?
KH: I hope it's going to be Nationwide Arena before too long! Obviously, there are a lot of really nice buildings around the league, and it's great to play in the Canadian cities, too. Hopefully, we can fill Nationwide and have a good run this year
CBJ.com: Describe your style of play.
KH: It all starts with defense, obviously, but I like to control the puck and make plays. I like to create scoring chances, both for my teammates and myself
CBJ.com: When did you start playing hockey?
KH:I started playing when I was six-years-old. My parents took me to a hockey school here in Sweden, and after that, I joined the team in the suburbs of Stockholm and I just kept going
CBJ.com: What are your hobbies during the off-season?
KH: I like trotting on horses in Sweden, that's one of my big hobbies. Once in a while during the summer, I like to go to the race tracks, too. Mainly in the summer time, you don't do more than workout and spend time with your family and friends, because you don’t get to see them as often during the season.
CBJ.com: Which Blue Jackets are you looking forward to playing with?
KH: Well, first, I'm just excited to be a part of Columbus with all of the players here. Obviously, it’s going to be fun watching all of the new, young players develop. It’s going to be great to see Rick Nash play, and I’ve played with Fredrik Modin a couple of times on the Swedish national team. I just can't wait until training camp starts
CBJ.com: Do you prefer to stay in for dinner, or go out?
KH: During the season, I like to stay and eat at the hotels on the road. Before games, I like to relax at the hotel, have a good dinner and just prepare for the game
Thanks, Kristian, and welcome to Columbus!