James Wisniewski chose to make Columbus his home, and it didn't take him long to become a proud resident of Ohio's capital city.
He signed a six-year contract with the Blue Jackets on the first day of free agency in 2011 with intention of making this home for his wife, Nicole, and the family they planned to start. They welcomed their first daughter, Jamie, last year and baby No. 2 (also a daughter, Sadie Rose) was born last week.
Needless to say, the 30-year-old Wisniewski is putting down roots in Columbus - and he could not be more excited about it.
The Blue Jackets went through some lean years shortly after he signed, and making it worse for Wisniewski were a couple of serious injuries that kept him from being a regular contributor. The past two seasons, however, have been a completely different story; the team is on an upward trajectory with promising young players and another wave coming, and Wisniewski is a key member of a balanced blue line that anchored the Jackets into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
|The Wisniewski family with newborn daughter Sadie Rose. (via Twitter) |
Witnessing the palpable energy and excitement in Columbus during the playoff run was something Wisniewski long hoped for, and it lived up to his expectations.
"Seriously...how could you not love this place after you saw that?" he asked. "A lot of guys are staying here and calling it home, and it shows how much we love and appreciate this city. We want to be here all four seasons - not just when hockey is going on. It's fun to be able to be in the community all year long, get to know people and create friendships.
"It's just such a cool town and when I came back after signing to find a house, me and Nicole kind of knew this was going to be the right place for us and starting our family. We bought the house in September, a couple months after we signed here, and we were all-in. We've called it home ever since and we really love it."
Wisniewski said the opportunity to be part of the Capital Style men's issue was something he wanted to do, if not only to show his fashionable side but also to give a glimpse into his family life, which has become more busy in recent weeks.
Capital Style editor Kristy Eckert and the magazine's staff photographer spent a good portion of an early summer morning at the Wisniewski residence, learning about their family and their passion for Columbus. They took pictures of Wisniewski, their home and got to know James the husband and father and not James the hockey player.
"It's always good to do other things other than just hockey stuff," Wisniewski said. "It helps people get to know me a little bit, which is always really cool. We love meeting new people, creating friendships and being around town. We love the fact that this our community, we're part of it, and we're glad that we've chosen to raise our family here - I want to finish my career here and call this our home forever."