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It's no accident that Risebrough and his counterpart on the first-year Blue Jackets, Doug MacLean, adopted philosophies similar to Torrey's and were quite successful in putting together their teams. Neither club appears to be playoff-bound, but both have beaten a few Stanley Cup contenders and run off short winning streaks. "We both learned from watching what previous expansion teams did," said MacLean after Columbus (14-26-4-3 through Saturday) split a home-and-home series against Minnesota (16-21-8-2) last week. "There were some things we knew we had to do." Here are four of them.
•Get goaltending skill and depth.
•Assemble a blend of experience and youth.
•Acquire veteran players from Europe.
•Hire a veteran coach who believes in hands-on teaching.
Naturally, executing the plan isn't as simple as devising it, and MacLean and Risebrough say they've been zonked by the complexities that running their teams involves. That may explain why when Torrey was asked what he would do if he were given control of an expansion team today, he replied, "Find a psychiatrist."
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