SBD/October 25, 2012/Franchises

John Davidson Formally Introduced As New Head Of Blue Jackets' Hockey Operations

Davidson is "one of the most connected people in hockey"
The Blue Jackets' introduction of new President of Hockey Operations John Davidson yesterday was a "momentous day for the franchise," according to Aaron Portzline of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Club President Mike Priest said of the former Blues President, "We believe with John’s leadership, experience and expertise, the Blue Jackets will turn the page on the past and reach new levels of success." Davidson agreed "to terms on a multiyear contract early Tuesday." Priest said that Davidson would have "full autonomy and authority over hockey operations," meaning GM Scott Howson, Assistant GM Chris MacFarland and senior advisers, "along with others, will have a new boss." Team Owner John McConnell said, "I spent 10 to 15 minutes with the guy and I was like, 'Wow, I really like this guy.'" Davidson "did not want to guarantee when the Blue Jackets become perennial winners" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/25).

RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB: ESPN.com's Craig Custance wrote Davidson is "one of the most connected people in hockey and is known for his ability to sell the game, an important distinction in Columbus where frustration is at an all-time high after another dismal season" (ESPN.com, 10/24). In Columbus, Rob Oller writes Davidson "brings aggressive patience and dynamic vision. And he is being given full rein to use them." Priest will most likely "slide back to the business side of things." Oller: "Davidson appears to be the perfect fit in Columbus, but then Mike Holmgren ... was supposed to be a great match with the Cleveland Browns and it did not work out" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/25). The GLOBE & MAIL's Eric Duhatschek writes the Davidson hire "represents a smart move in the right direction." Davidson's presence "alone cannot change that attitude overnight, but it surely will help." In his previous job, Davidson acted "as the de facto front man for a St. Louis Blues franchise that was in similar dire straits before he took the wheel" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/25).
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