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What John Davidson has said about the Rangers (Updates)

6/9/21 | JD was on the Bob McCown podcast and said:

  • On the Rangers, “I had an opportunity to go to New York, I had been there so long as a player, a broadcaster, years and years, decades actually. Took a run at it, obviously Mr. Dolan decided to make some changes, his right. I actually enjoyed working for Jim and the Garden and people around the Rangers, it was terrific, and I think the team was on a pretty good trajectory to be where it’s supposed to be as you go through the build, but it didn’t work out….” (He starts talking about returning to Columbus.”

  • On being let go, “I had (audio breaks up) conversation with Jim Dolan, he had made his mind up, there was no changing it…that’s hockey, that is the business. We shook hands and I left, came home, talked to my wife. I’d never been let go, traded once as a player, 48-years in the league…”
  • On James Dolan, “There is a real private side to Jim Dolan which…he does a lot of things for a lot of people that people don’t know about. He has that ability to do it and he does it, which is a really good thing. When he makes his mind up he makes his mind up, there were others that have been through the same situation as myself. I will say this, this is the reality of it, when you work for the Rangers or run the Rangers you have everything at your finger tips to run a franchise, there is no cutting corners whatsoever. If you need something, add this, do this, do that, buy that, absolutely, if it helps us win, do it, including minor league team and everything else. I can’t sit here and be critical, it’s pretty simple. This is tough for owners when you go through a rebuild and you are going to have the ups and downs in a rebuild and the things that I told our guys is that when we go through the downs, and there are going to be some, everyone around is going to lose their minds, get really upset about the way things are going and we have to keep ours in the proper spot and then when we climb out of it it’s going to be really, really, good and we just didn’t get there. I think Chris Drury, who is now the President and GM, inherited a good situation, he’s made a lot of changes and I think he will continue to do that, but teamwise, what is coming, what is there already, they are in a good spot, the Rangers organization is in a good spot.”
  • How much did Tom Wilson have to do with anything, “Nothing, zero, the only thing I will say is that when the statement came out about the Rangers being upset with the situation, that was nothing to do with myself and Jeff Gorton. It came from the top and it’s what they felt like saying. I think we knew that as you go through this build, we knew we needed help at this position, that position, maybe toughness for sure, but you can’t just run out and get it, you have to find a way to do it. We had played Washington plenty of times, we had beaten Washington, I think 4-2 at one point playing them this season and Tom plays hard and that situation blew up, but it had nothing to do with what happened to us.”

5/25/21 | JD was on Sirius XM last week and said:


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  • On what happened with the Rangers, “New York, it was a great time, a really up and coming hockey club, a ton of assets that aren’t there yet that will be coming. I loved it for two years, but the owner decided he wanted to go in a different direction, that is about as plain and simple as it gets and that was it for Jeff Gorton and myself, Jeff as the GM worked hard and did a good job. These things happen in hockey.”
  • On the statement about George Parros, “No, Jeff Gorton and I didn’t have anything to do with that. That was not our department, didn’t do it and on we go.”

5/21/21 | JD was on NHL Tonight on the NHL Network and said about the Rangers:

  • On the last few weeks, “It’s been very interesting, to say the least. I planned to be in New York for a long time and the club was really coming along. They have a lot of future and I think they are going to be very, very good. It was a bit of a shock when Jeff Gorton, the GM, and myself were let go. The owner, Mr. Dolan, who is a good man has every right in the world to do what he wanted to do and this is what he decided to do. You kind of go into a bit of a shock and the emotions go up and down and back and forth and then you try to figure out what you want to do.” (Then he talked about his options and how they all pointed toward a return to Columbus)

  • (While talking about where Columbus is and how it’s good to have options) “We have three first rounders this season so there is going to be good people coming, or you can make deals and find ways to improve your hockey club. All the options are open, everything is on the table. I’d hate to be somewhere where there were no options. I know that in NY we had options, especially starting this season coming up, but we have options in Columbus and explore every single one of them.”

5/20/21 | John Davidson was officially re-introduced as the Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations.

When the Rangers and his time in NY came up during his remarks, JD said (Blue Jackets):

  • “This is something that came together rather quickly. Once things went a different direction in New York.” (He then described his process for returning to Columbus.)
  • “On behalf of my family thank you to the Blue Jackets, Mr. Mcconnel and we are just really, really happy to be back. I’d like to thank the Rangers, it was a very strange two-years because of Covid, but a lot was learned and I have a lot of friends back there. We are extremely happy to be back in Columbus.”
  • Do you feel there is unfinished business in Columbus, “when I was in NY I was in to getting that business taken care of with the Rangers, those things changed and I understand that. That team is in good shape, I wish Chris Drury the new GM and President all the best. Regarding this club here, I’ve been gone two seasons, but they don’t feel like two seasons….” (He then continued on talking about the Blue Jackets)

  • How stunning was what happened with the Rangers, “It was disappointed and I think I have every right to say that, along with Jeff Gorton the GM who was let go with myself. The key is, if you get knocked down a little, get back on your feet and don’t feel sorry for yourself. I certainly enjoyed my two-years in NY with the Rangers, it’s a first-class organization with some great players there, there is a lot of good things happening. I had a talk with Mr. Dolan who is the owner and boss of MSG, a very respectful conversation and we decided to part ways. When that happens it’s a blow because no one gets used to something like that, but once you gather and sit in the backyard and talk your way through these things with your best friends and things along those lines, some things start to point in the direction. I was in a position where I could just retire, I could do this or that or go to another team, but it’s the right fit for us, the right fit for me, my family. We can’t tell you how much we enjoyed Columbus when we were here…..”
  • Can you provide any timeline to what happened, “I think when you go through something like that you have a feeling that something is going to happen. I will say that Mr. Dolan and I had some conversations, I wanna be as respectful as I can, I don’t want to get into any private discussions that we had because they are between Mr. Dolan and myself. All I can say is that changes were made, I’m very, very happy and fortunate to be in Columbus. I think that Jeff Gorton and myself weren’t, when you look at it, that team has a chance to spring ahead very quickly, they are in good shape. I’ll leave it at that.”
  • Will you consider David Quinn as head coach, “we’d be negligent if we didn’t have everybody out there that is a possible coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets, if we left him off the list. Everybody is on the list. We are going to sit down and weed through that and Jarmo, with the staff and myself will go through the interview process, that is part of what you do. David Quinn is a good person, did a nice job in NY and certainly his name will be on the list with a lot of others.”