Maybe it's because we're unabashed fans of his broadcasting career and results with the St. Louis Blues, but John Davidson could have a transformative effect on the Columbus Blue Jackets' franchise.
They don't need another Rick Nash — they need a hockey man at the top of the food chain that can take a team in a near-constant state of rebuilding and set it on course for sustained success.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported on Friday morning that the long-awaited talks between Davidson, who recently stepped down as president of the Blues, and Columbus brass will begin this weekend.
It's unclear how Davidson would fit within the Blue Jackets' hockey operations department, but it's widely assumed around the NHL that he would need the promise of complete autonomy, just as he had with the Blues since joining them as president in 2006.
In that scenario, Davidson would likely assume the title of president of hockey operations, giving him authority of general manager Scott Howson and all hockey decisions. Priest could switch strictly to the business side of the organization, while retaining his rights to serve on the NHL board of governors.
Priest's bio is pretty indicative of a guy that'd rather just run the numbers side of things.
So the wheels are turning on John Davidson to the Blue Jackets. Which is a good thing. Here's Matt Wagner of The Cannon with some cautious optimism:
Based on his experience, resume, and tenure, it's not unreasonable to expect Davidson to command a salary in the high six figures, perhaps even seven. That doesn't seem so bad compared to, say, $5.5 million dollars for James Wisniewski's paycheck, but the lockout complicates things.
As it stands, the Blue Jackets are cutting the work weeks for their front office staff to save money while the team effectively has no access to their primary source of income. To add that financial demand, even if the team "saved" by perhaps reassigning Mike Priest back to Worthington Industries and using the money earmarked for his salary to pay J.D., is a risky move, especially if the lockout eventually threatens the entire season.
True, but few in hockey would say he's not worth the money.