Foligno thinks Blue Jackets can “become a good team” within three years

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Columbus acquired the rights to Nick Foligno from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Marc Methot. On Friday, he inked a three-year, $9.15 million contract with the Blue Jackets.

Columbus isn’t exactly the best of franchise’s to play for right now. They had by far the worst record in the NHL last season and their best player, Rick Nash, wants out. Still, as Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports, Foligno thinks the Blue Jackets can rebound before his latest contract expires.

“To me, the three years gives us some time to build it up here and really become a good team,” Foligno said. “I know they don’t want to wait three years. They want to be good this coming season, right away. I know what it’s like, in Ottawa, to be picked as the last-place team and really surprise some people. It can happen. But three years gives us time to see it through. To work hard toward a goal of being a really good team.”

The situation in Columbus isn’t exactly the same as it was in Ottawa, but he’s certainly right that teams can surpass expectations, especially in the salary cap era. Still, unless the Blue Jackets get a very impressive haul for Nash, it’s hard to see them coming even close to competing in 2012-13.

Foligno is projected to serve as a top-six forward with the Blue Jackets after recording a career-high 47 points in 2011-12.