Let's be clear: Now that he's officially left the St. Louis Blues as their president of hockey operations, the best move for John Davidson would be to return to television color commentary.
Yes, this is a completely selfish declaration on our part, because we hold JD up as the gold standard for hockey analysis in the booth; we doubt he'll be willing to take the pay cut.
Instead, Davidson will find a number of opportunities in the NHL to do what he did in St. Louis: Build a winner on the ice through the draft and smart spending, and be the voice of the organization in keeping fans enthusiastic about the direction of the franchise.
You think the Calgary Flames or Columbus Blue Jackets could use a guy like that? (Or, in a delicious twist, given his history with the New York Rangers, how about the New York Islanders?)
The news, first reported by Louis Jean of TVA, comes three months after Davidson's negotiating window with other teams closed. Speculation remained that new owner Tom Stillman would work out a financial settlement with Davidson, who had three years and an estimated $6 million left on his deal. Apparently, that's finally happened.
Davidson met with the Blue Jackets during his negotiating window, talking with the team about taking over hockey operations and igniting pipe dreams about convincing Rick Nash to stay.
At $2 million per season, he was part of a talent-laden front office that also includes Doug Armstrong, Larry Pleau, Al MacInnis, head scout Dave Taylor and coach Ken Hitchcock. Outside of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it's one of the deepest and most expensive front offices in the NHL.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets have long had a crying need for experience and cache at the top of their organization. Davidson met with majority owner John P. McConnell and president Mike Priest in May, but none involved would discuss the meeting publicly.
He also loves Calgary. In, like, a big way. Both he and the team denied any interest in adding Davidson to management back in June, but speculation was that Davidson could run hockey ops while Ken King moves into a business leadership role.
Davidson's a rock star executive, and an asset to any team that manages to add him to the brain trust.
But yeah, we'd rather hear him back in the booth.
"Oh baby …"
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