SBD/September 28, 2012/Franchises

Blues' New Ownership Group, President John Davidson Agree To Part Ways

John Davidson agrees to a buyout with the Blues with three years, $6M left on deal
In a move that has "been speculated since last May," new Blues Owner Tom Stillman and President John Davidson "have decided to part ways," according to sources cited by Jeremy Rutherford of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Davidson has three years and $6M "left on his contract, and although paperwork has not been signed, the sides have agreed to an undisclosed buyout." Blues C David Backes said, "He's been an ambassador for the Blues and a guy that's led the turnaround here." Rutherford notes the team is not "expected to replace him based on the moves that led to the development." In addition to the desire to cut costs, Stillman's ownership group "restructured the front office in August, leaving autonomy" to GM Doug Armstrong and adding new VP/Hockey Operations Dave Taylor. When Stillman took over, Davidson exercised a clause in his contract that "gave him 30 days to explore other options." He met with Blue Jackets officials, "but nothing materialized." Davidson also was recently "stripped of his hockey operations title." The former NHLer "connected with players as well as he did with fans." Backes said, "His ability to connect with people is remarkable. He'll still have that wherever he goes, whatever endeavor is next" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/28). In St. Louis, Jeff Gordon writes Davidson "retooled the hockey operation." He "rebuilt the team step by step by sticking to his masterful plan. He got out in the community and energized the fan base." Davidson "didn't bring the Stanley Cup to St. Louis," but "did everything else he set out to do with his old franchise." Stillman is "setting out to make the Blues financially stable" and his plan "includes streamlining the front office, which became top heavy with good hockey men" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/28).
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