Pumped About John Davidson
By Patrick Hoffman
Being born in 1983 and growing up watching just about every New York Rangers' game until I went to college in Massachusetts beginning in 2002, John Davidson was someone I came to admire.
Here was a guy that played, broadcasted, analyzed, did video games, and everything anything else that was associated with hockey. If there was something going on in the hockey world, there's a good chance that Davidson knew about it before we did.
Fast forward to today and he is now the President of the Rangers. For the man known as JD both in Rangers' and NHL circles, this was a long time coming and something that many people wanted to happen, especially myself.
While he has yet to win a CUP as an executive, he still had a positive impact with both teams he was with. He helped take the St. Louis Blues from being one of the worst teams in the league to a team that was a constant in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Heck, some of the guys on the current Blues' squad are guys that JD played a part in whether it was drafting or trading for them.
JD did the same thing with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Under his watch, the Blue Jackets made the playoffs three years in a row and surprised everyone in this year's postseason when they swept the league's best team by a country mile, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the first round.
Now, he's back where he belongs. Rangers' fans love him and the franchise has always held him in the highest regard.
These two things alone should give him somewhat of a honeymoon period as he looks to be a big part of getting the team back to being contenders. Rangers' general manager Jeff Gorton has already begun that process.
This team is young, has a lot of talent, and is a club that surprised a lot of people this past season by being more than competitive in a lot games. Heck, they were first in the Metropolitan Division at Thanksgiving!
It will be JD's and Gorton's job in the off-season to make this a team that will be formidable for years to come. One thing they will certainly do is go after unrestricted free agent Artemi Panarin. Getting someone like Panarin would be a huge boost to this team's offense both now and in the future.
Before even doing that, they will focus on the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Whether it's Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko, the team really can't lose with the second overall pick.
Heck, after the second overall pick, the club has many other solid picks in the draft. They also have the 20th overall pick, the 49th and 58th overall picks, as well as the 68th overall pick.
JD and Gorton need to make sure they do this draft right and get their cupboard stocked. The league gets younger every year so the franchise needs to make sure they stay with the times.
Something else JD needs to do is make sure that he sees this rebuild through. There are certainly some intriguing unrestricted free agent options, but the goal right now should be to continue to rebuild and do things the right way because if he does that, this franchise could end up being in a good position for years to come.
It's a new era on Broadway folks. Thankfully, we have someone that we know who is going to help us get back to where we are supposed to be.
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.