The Columbus Blue Jackets announced yesterday that John Davidson was returning to the organization and assuming his old role of President of Hockey Operations for the club. Davidson left the Blue Jackets two season’s ago to return to the New York Rangers where he spent decades as both a player and in the broadcast booth forming the dynamic tandem of Sam and JD.
After the shocking firing of both Davidson and General Manager Geff Gorton by Rangers owner James Dolan, the most sensible move seemed for him to return back to Columbus. That move did not take long as just a few short weeks after his dismissal, the official announcement from the Blue Jackets came with Davidson receiving numerous offers from a variety of sources. To say the return just seems right one only needs to look at a few of the quotes from his re-introduction presser:
“When we got back into Columbus today and we started driving down 315 and things, it’s like we didn’t leave, like we haven’t even left. It was a very easy feeling to get back in the chair”
Davidson’s return is for a five-year agreement that will run through the end of the 2025-26 season. With his return, General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen was extended for two more seasons which will bring his contract through the 2024-25 season. The tandem have a long relationship that goes back to Davidson’s days in the front office with the St. Louis Blues. Shortly after joining the Blue Jackets, Davidson brought Kekalainen in during the midway point of 2012-13 season and have helped rebuild the Blue Jackets from a perennial cellar team to their most successful run as a franchise to date.
The return of Davidson also marks a chance for a reset and to re-establish the brand and identity of the Blue Jackets. After a disappointing season that was marred with challenges, head coach John Tortorella parted ways with the club and Kekalainen was left in a difficult spot to navigate his club away from mediocrity. While there is plenty of stories that point to self-induced problems, the return of Davidson will help deliver a strong message in a return to Blue Jackets hockey.
After two season’s out of the chair, Davidson is ready to get back and get the Blue Jackets rolling to points higher than when he left.Embed from Getty Images