Roster Moves

OH BABY: Rangers to hire John Davidson as President of Hockey Operations

The worst kept secret in hockey is out of the bag, officially. While not announced yet, the Rangers will hire John Davidson to succeed Glen Sather as the President of Hockey Operations. Davidson has been rumored for weeks, and it was only a matter of time that he was announced following Columbus’s elimination from the playoffs. The Blue Jackets announced he has resigned his role with the club.

Davidson spent most of his playing career with the Rangers where he was a fan favorite, carrying them to the 1979 Stanley Cup Final. He moved to the broadcast booth after injuries ended his career early. His fan favorite status grew as he and Sam Rosen formed one of the best broadcast teams in New York sports.

JD left the broadcast booth in 2006 to join the St. Louis Blues as President of Hockey Operations. His teams in St. Louis only made the playoffs twice in six years, winning one round. He was one of the guys behind hiring Ken Hitchcock and one of the better drafting runs. His contract was bought out in 2012 when JD headed to Columbus. His mark in St. Louis is still felt, with many players drafted and acquired in his tenure playing a role in this year’s run for the Blues.

In Columbus, JD helped orchestrate a great turn around for a dismal Blue Jackets club. Columbus made the playoffs just once in JD’s first four seasons, but strong drafting led to three straight playoff appearances, including this year’s shocking sweep over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

JD has been at the helm for a pair of successful rebuilds, and is tremendous at his job. The Rangers are already a step ahead of the rest in this rebuild, and JD begins the overhaul of the front office as they move into the next era of Rangers hockey.

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  • Welcome back, JD! One thing I think (hope?) we’ll see under his management is a new emphasis on the use of Hartford as a proper development tool for the Rangers. I don’t think he’ll be a micromanager, but I do believe that he’ll put his own stamp on the way the team is run.

    • They already started it last year; not just Hartford but Maine as well. The brief time spent in Maine did a lot for both Day & Gropp when they came back up.

      My question is what JD is going to do to improve the organization, install an analytics department?

      With the new tracking software, all the hand counting of stats is going away, heat maps, breakouts, PP & PK setups will be automatically generated & players can quickly be shown when they do something wrong within the system.

      So what does that leave, salary ranges? Excercise science testing?

  • I think this could be the biggest individual (PLAYER/MGMT) add for the organization in terms of getting NYR/Hank The Stanley Cup soon…

  • Finally, one of our own(yeah, I know Slats was a Ranger…but such a long time ago…. and he had most of his success with Edmonton). He knows the city, he knows the culture and most importantly, he knows exactly what kind of team NYR fans want and deserve. He won’t just pay lip service to the passion and fervor of the “Garden Faithful.” Now, lets see how he can add to this rebuild, beginning with straightening out the situation in Hartford. Its a good move! Welcome home JD!!!!!

  • Ok, this will be a slightly unpopular post … I love JD, truly … and I’m happy to see him back where he belongs, in NY … but before we get way too giddy his accomplishments in Management haven’t exactly been stellar. Good, yes they’ve been positive … and let’s be honest, Presidents don’t actually draft players nor do they coach them. Yes, they make some of the big decisions because they have the owners’ ear but that mostly involves who the GM is, who the coach will be, etc. In that respect I can’t imagine any changes being made in the next 2 years — we are smack dab in the middle of the rebuild and so far the decisions made by Gorton have been pretty damn good … and the Coach has shown an ability to connect with/improve his younger players. Don’t expect to see JD do anything more than reinforce the culture being redeveloped (top to bottom — i.e. Hartford). Beyond that I’m not sure we’ll see any tangible changes (aside from maybe Hartford) —- and you know what, I’m perfectly fine with that.

    So welcome aboard JD, soak it all in and let your ebullient personality shine through and radiate throughout the organization.

  • I am very happy to see JD back where he belongs! Whatever his input level, I am sure it will be a posititve one for the club.

    OH BABY! Indeed.

  • First of all, welcome home John, we missed your sharp mind and wit.

    JD played the game, was an analyst on MSG, always made sense when he pointed things out on the broadcasts, and has personality. He is a very smart man who got things done in two towns, St Louis, and Columbus, turning those franchises around. Today we still see the JD influence in the PO’s, Blues, as well as the Bluejackets play this year.

    I suspect that JD will have many discussions with JG, and they will stay the course, but with one caveat.
    They may make some moves to get a little harder to play against, by that I mean get a bit tougher, and physical. Just look at what Boston did to Carolina, they man handled them, pushed them around, and won most of the battle boards. That’s what I can coming our way in the near future. Bottom line, we are in for some exciting times with this team, starting real soon!!!!!!!

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