Columbus hire John Davidson, focus on building Blue Jackets “brick by brick”

10/24/12 in NHL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced John Davidson as their new president of hockey operations at the Nationwide Arena on Wednesday, bringing to closure a long-awaited move that could change the course of a franchise which had posted the worst record in NHL last season.
 
The ex-NHL player, Hall of Fame broadcaster and former St. Louis Blues executive, John Davidson, signed on a multi-year contract with the Blue Jackets. However, the terms of the contract were not immediately released.
 
“This is a very exciting day for the Columbus Blue Jackets,” said Columbus Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell, “and our fans as John Davidson is a proven winner who brings a tremendous amount of experience, knowledge and leadership to our organization.”
 
“We believe he is the perfect person to lead our hockey operations efforts.”
 
The Columbus Blue Jackets have greatly struggled over the past decade, with just one Stanley Cup berth (in 2009) that ended with a loss to the Detroit _ after just four games. The Columbus Blue Jackets ranked 30th in the league after posting a 29-46-7, 65 points record last season.
 
But the Columbus Blue Jackets hope to embark on a new era of success with John Davidson, who served as the St. Louis Blues president of basketball operations for the last seven years.
 
"We will do our best to make Columbus a better hockey club," said John Davidson. “We’ll win our share. As we move along here, we’ll win more than our share.”
 
John Davidson took-over the St. Louis Blues in a similar state, following the club’s 21-46-15 record and 57 points record in the 2005-2006 campaign. However, John Davidson gradually built-up the St. Luis Rams into one of the league’s top ten teams by surrounding himself with a talented front-office, acquiring solid players such as forwards Chris Stewart, Andy McDonald and Alex Steen, as well as Kevin Shattenkirk and goaltender Jaroslav Halak. John Davidson made the best out of the St. Louis Blues’ draft picks by locking-in NHL’s youngest most promising cores.
 
It all paid-off when the St. Louis Blues won their first Central Division championship since the 1999-2000 season by ending the 2011-2012 campaign on 49-22-11, 109 points.
 
The 59-year-old John Davidson revealed he was intrigued by the “idea of a challenge” and found no downside to his job with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
 
"You think about the organization itself and how much they want to win ... you can see they want something very, very badly," stated John Davidson. "The ownership group is just a great group."
 
However, John Davidson stated that the transformation of a franchise into a championship contender requires patience and dedication, and while he will build the Blue Jackets "brick by brick,” such matters cannot be rushed into.
 
John Davidson added that he will focus on the drafts rather than free-agency to build the team. The Columbus Blue Jackets hold three draft picks for next season.

“When you start seeing it going in the right direction, the fans who have seen it all the way through - the ones who have seen these players grow up – a special bond is formed,” said John Davidson. "It’s a pretty good feeling, and that’s …what we’re going to have here."
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