John Davidson returning to Blue Jackets after surprise Rangers firing

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It’s as if it were all a bad dream.

Less than two weeks after he surprisingly was fired as president of the Rangers, John Davidson is going back to his former job, president of the Blue Jackets, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The Rangers goaltending legend returned to New York two years ago to shepherd the franchise’s rebuilding. He had been Columbus’ president of hockey operations for seven years before being poached by the Rangers in 2019.

Though the Rangers made strides the past two years, Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton were fired by owner James Dolan on May 7. The move was made shortly after the Rangers were shut out in two straight games by the rival Islanders, essentially ending their playoff hopes. It also followed a no-holds-barred statement, reportedly commissioned by ownership, in response to the NHL’s department of player safety’s failure to suspend the Capitals’ Tom Wilson for a violent incident that injured the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin.

As a player, Davidson led the team to the Stanley Cup final in 1979. He returned as a beloved color commentator for the MSG Networks from 1986 until 2006, when he left to start his front-office career as president of the Blues.

John Davidson in 2019.
John Davidson in 2019.
Robert Sabo

The Blue Jackets’ current general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen, and former coach, John Tortorella, were both hired by Davidson, who still has three years left on his deal with the Rangers.

Tortorella may be in the running for the Rangers’ coaching vacancy after parting ways with Columbus following the regular season.

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