Rangers Need to Bring JD Home
Written by: Patrick Hoffman
If you're a New York Rangers fan or hockey fan in general, you know who John Davidson is.
Some of you got to know him as a goaltender in the late 70's and 80's. At that time, you knew him as the goaltender that got the New York Rangers to the 1979 Stanley Cup Final where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
If you knew JD in the 80's, you got to know him as the game's top analyst leading him to be honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2019. He was the game's best in that role for over 20 years as he not only worked in the Rangers' broadcast booth with Sam Rosen for two decades, but he was also a part of a few other networks in both Canada and the United States in that same role.
Some of you also got to know JD as a hockey executive. He is currently the President of Hockey Operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets and prior to joining Columbus in that position in the 2012-13 strike-shortened season, he was in that same role for the St. Louis Blues for six seasons.
With all of that said, JD will always be associated with the Blueshirts. He was a fan favorite as a player and became an even bigger fan favorite as Sam Rosen's partner in the booth.
If you're a Ranger fan, I'm sure you've heard the rumors by now that he is a leading candidate to become the team's next President. Glen Sather stepped down from that role on Friday, April 5, so it will now be up to him and James Dolan, the Madison Square Garden executive chairman and CEO as well as the executive chairman of MSG Networks, to decide who will replace him.
In my opinion, there are many reasons why JD is perfect for this position and why the Rangers should do everything they can to hire him for this position. For starters, he's a fan favorite,
Now, I know that fans have absolutely no say on who gets the position. With that said, should the Rangers hire Davidson, it may buy the team a bit more time in the honeymoon zone.
Every Blueshirt fan knows that the team is still rebuilding. As such, there are still going to be growing pains and may be even a third straight season without making the playoffs.
With that said, if Davidson takes this position, fans may be willing to continue being patient with the franchise. For a fan base that demands excellence and one that wants everything now, buying patience could be beneficial for the organization.
Secondly, JD knows what he is doing in this role. He helped put both the St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets back on the hockey map by making them contenders.
I realize that he has yet to win a Cup as an executive, but what he has shown is that he knows how to build a hockey team by having the right personnel. If he joins the Rangers, he can surround team general manager Jeff Gorton with the right people and structure to may be speed up the rebuild.
Lastly, New York is home. Whenever he comes back to the Garden, fans give him a huge cheer and even goes up to the booth with Sam and Joe Micheletti during the game and sits in for several minutes making comments here and there.
It's clear that he still loves New York and the Rangers and that whenever he comes back to Broadway, he feels at home. Sure, it would probably be tough to leave the Columbus and the Blue Jackets, but if he did that, he would be coming back to a familiar place.
It's time for the Rangers to jump on this and bring JD back to where he belongs: in New York with the Rangers.
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.