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Posted: May 21, 2021

John Davidson heading back to Columbus

That didn’t take long.

Fired by the New York Rangers on May 5, John Davidson is returning to a National Hockey League (NHL) front office as president of hockey operations and alternate governor of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This will be the second term as the Blue Jackets’ president for Invermere-raised Davidson, 68, who helped build the club from 2012 to 2019, when he signed with the Rangers.

Prior to 2012, Davidson was president of hockey operations for the St. Louis Blues from 2006-12, a pivotal period of development for the 2019 Stanley Cup champions.

Davidson, who received a five-year contract from the Jackets, also has a storied 10-year career playing goal for the Blues and Rangers.

Columbus’ General manager and alternate governor Jarmo Kekalainen, who Davidson hired, also signed a contract extension through the 2024-25 season.

“John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen worked tirelessly and effectively together to transform our hockey club from a team with one Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in 12 seasons to one that reached the postseason five times in seven years from 2013-20,” Blue Jackets president and alternate governor Mike Priest said in a statement.

The Blue Jackets’ 2020/21 season was a mess, beginning with a demand to be traded by first-line centre Pierre-Luc Dubois after an apparent falling out with head coach John Tortorella.

Dubois landed in Winnipeg with the Jets, traded for enigmatic sniper Patrick Laine. The deal didn’t revive the Jackets and with the playoffs long out of sight, Tortorella was relieved of his duties as the team finished last in the Central Division.

After retiring from the NHL, Davidson established a Hall of Fame broadcasting career in New York before becoming an NHL executive.

He received the Foster Hewitt Award presented by the Hockey Hall of Fame for his contributions to broadcasting in 2009.

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