"Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter in New York Rangers history," Madison Square Garden Company CEO James Dolan said. "John Davidson is one of the premier executives in the National Hockey League.
"As we continue to build a team that can consistently compete for the Stanley Cup, John's knowledge of the game and his experience and passion for the Rangers logo make him the ideal choice to oversee our Hockey Operations department. I am thrilled to welcome 'JD' and his family home."
A goalie, Davidson played 222 games over eight seasons (1975-83) for the Rangers, then spent 19 years as a color commentator for the Rangers and national networks before becoming the president of the St. Louis Blues in 2006. He joined Columbus in 2012.
The Blue Jackets were 285-209-46 in his time there and won at least 45 games in each of the past three seasons. They advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time this season, upsetting the No. 1 seed Tampa Bay Lightning in a series sweep.
"When we hired John Davidson in October 2012, I said I thought he was the perfect person to lead our hockey operations efforts," Blue Jackets owner John P. McConnell said. "Nearly seven years later I believe I was right. He joined our team at a very difficult time and led a transformation that has resulted in consistent winning and appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs."
Davidson, 66, joins a Rangers organization that has not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2016-17 season.
"I have come to love this organization and the city," Davidson said in a statement about his time in Columbus. "There was only one opportunity that I would've considered leaving for, and the one before me now is that opportunity as I spent 30 years with the Rangers as a player and broadcaster and have strong ties to that team and the city of New York."
--Field Level Media