The Rangers made it official. Earlier today, they introduced John Davidson as new Team President. Davidson takes over the day to day operations from recently retired Glen Sather. With it comes a lot of responsibility.
Having necessary experience with Columbus and St. Louis should help. Davidson made the smooth transition from the broadcast booth to the front office. He helped rebuild the Blues and more recently, the Blue Jackets. Even though neither organization achieved ultimate success resulting in a championship, they both improved under him.
Something he noted was that seeing the current Blues finally return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970, he was partially responsible for. Though many names have changed, he was there when they drafted Vladimir Tarasenko in 2010. The star Blues forward has eight goals and five assists during their playoff run. He’s scored 30 or more goals the last five seasons.
Leading goalscorer Jaden Schwartz is right behind Boston netminder Tuukka Rask for the Conn Smythe. He will enter the Stanley Cup round with 12 goals and four helpers. St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo has been there for a decade after he was taken third overall in ’08. Colton Parayko also was one of the last draft picks that Davidson was involved in. He went number 86 in the 2012 Draft. So, their two best defensemen and two best finishers are staples of the current group aiming to make history.
One thing I like about JD is his sincerity. When speaking about what the Rangers have done since last year, he emphasized that he’ll have to be patient. Something that is a good message to the fans. Some of who might be getting ahead of themselves as far as building a championship contender is concerned. It takes some time.
That’s even true if Davidson convinces Artemi Panarin to come to the Big Apple in July. That’s why I’m against temporary solutions like Erik Karlsson, who finally broke down in the Conference Final when the Sharks needed him most. I like him as a player, but the multiple injuries he’s played through in runs with Ottawa and San Jose, make him a huge long-term risk for any team that signs him.
Panarin isn’t that big a risk due to having just completed his fourth NHL season. He should have a lot of peak years left. That’s why I’ve changed my mind on signing him. I’ll lay that out in another post. When asked by a reporter about Panarin, Davidson wisely didn’t comment. By NHL rule, he can’t. That’s what I was trying to tell excellent NHL.com writer Dan Rosen.
At the top of the hour, Davidson will join former broadcast partner Sam Rosen on MSG 150. OH BABY! That’ll be a must watch for any Ranger fan. Sam and JD have given us so many memories including that special hot summer night on June 14, 1994.
It’s a very exciting day. Especially when you think of what JD has meant to the organization first as a player, and then as the best color analyst in hockey. Ask Doc Emrick about that. Both he and Rosen know how special Davidson was in the booth. They’re all Hall of Famers.
Now, it’s a new challenge. Bringing respectability back to the franchise while continuing to mold it into a team we can be proud of for years to come. The work has just begun.