What AHL success does for parent team

In spring of 2016, Zach Werenski and the Monsters won the AHL's Calder Cup. Thus far this season, Werenski and the Blue Jackets are fourth in the Eastern Conference. Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

The Columbus Blue Jackets held a panel a few weeks ago in Cleveland for fans of their AHL team, the Cleveland Monsters.

The Monsters are coming off a Calder Cup championship season, the first in franchise history. It was the first AHL championship in Cleveland since 1964, and Game 4 of the finals sweep was played in front of a sellout crowd of 19,665, the second-largest crowd in the history of the Calder Cup playoffs. So yeah, the fans got into it.

One of the fans asked Columbus assistant general manager Bill Zito, who runs the Monsters for the Blue Jackets, for the one thing Zito did that had the biggest impact on the success of the team.

Zito thought a moment, and then answered.

“I said, ‘I met a guy, and I picked up his luggage and carried it wherever he wanted. His name was Zach Werenski,’” Zito said, laughing. “He might have had something to do with it.”

Then Zito gets serious.