Not many teams have signings like this one. The Rangers focused on and found their man almost immediately after Glen Sather decided to retire.
And “Oh, Baby!” John Davidson is happy the Rangers came calling.
“Dreams do come true,” Davidson said. “I lived here previously for 28 years, raised two daughters here, had a wonderful life. Became, not a born New Yorker, but I think I became a New Yorker. It’s always been in my blood.”
And it’s the only job he would have left Columbus for and the Rangers have made the right move here. Working on Broadway is a tough job, but Davidson has 13 years in St. Louis and Columbus where he learned how to build an organization and be an executive.
Now it’s time for him to take his skills to Broadway.
He’s not reinventing the wheel, since the Rangers are on a rebuilding phase, so he just needs to slip in and compliment general manager Jeff Gorton and head coach David Quinn. There’s a very important draft coming up and the Rangers have money to spend in free agency. However, unlike other teams, there’s no mandate to win this year.
“There’s a lot of work to do here. There’s no shortcuts,” Davidson said. “It’s nothing but hard work, and it takes patience and resolve, and I really want to make sure that I used the word patience and I use the word resolve, because we’re going to be in a battle here to get this club to be better. But you have to be patient when you go through a build like this. It’s just what it is. I had the great opportunity to do it twice, once in St. Louis and once in Columbus. We have a great staff here. We’ve got already many young pieces in place.”
You have to give credit where credit is due. Sather learned from his mistakes when he came in and eventually built a perennial playoff team and Gorton knew when it was time to move on from the last core in order to build a new one.
Davidson is smart enough to know that and will take the time to build the team correctly, even if that means Henrik Lundqvist will miss out winning a Stanley Cup.
And believe it or not, you have to credit James Dolan here as well. As much as you can pass blame when it comes to the Knicks, Dolan runs the Rangers like a perfect owner. He lets his hockey people make the decisions. He’s not afraid to spend money and he’s patient as this team is rebuilding.
It leads Davidson into a perfect situation, as he will have a longer honeymoon than most. Of course, it helps that he is an all time Rangers player and broadcaster and in both jobs he excelled.
And with his track record in St. Louis and Columbus, you would think he can do it again in Broadway as president.
“I think it’s going to be a huge benefit,” Gorton said. “He’s gone through it with two organizations. He’s done everything in hockey. His experience, his even-keel way about him, it’s going to be a great asset for us as we go through the process, there’s no question about that.”
It’s a perfect fit for the Blueshirts.