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Blue Jackets hire Davidson as hockey operations president

The SportsXchange

The Columbus Blue Jackets hired John Davidson as their president of hockey operations Wednesday.

Team president Mike Priest said Davidson will be given the power to improve a club that has had 10 losing seasons in its 11-year existence.

"He will have full authority and autonomy of the competition side of our business," Priest said at press conference "He will lead our hockey operations staff."

The Blue Jackets were 29-46-7 last season, their third consecutive losing season. Their last winning season was their only winning season and playoff appearance, 2008-09 when they were 41-31-10 before losing in the first round of the playoffs.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Davidson, 59, signed a multi-year deal but terms were not available.

"We will do our best to make Columbus a better hockey club," Davidson said. "We'll make it a better city because we'll do our part as part of the hockey family, knowing what the team can mean to the city. It's important to grow on the ice; and we've got to be really good at growing off the ice, too.

"We make a promise that we'll make it a better place. Our family will do what we can to make the team better on the ice and off the ice."

Like the rest of the NHL, the Blue Jackets have yet to start the season because the league has locked out its players. The NHL has not agreed to a collective bargaining agreement with its Players Association and no negotiations are planned.

Davidson came to Columbus after seven years as the president of the St. Louis Blues. He said general manager Scott Howson, assistant general manager Chris MacFarland and senior adviser Craig Patrick will stay with the team.

Davidson was as standout goaltender with the New York Rangers in the 1970s before becoming a broadcaster and executive.
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